CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – The mayor of Charleston is urging residents to remain calm as two high profile court cases with racial overtones go to trial.
Jury selection began Monday for former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager’s trial in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist. Next week, jury selection resumes for Dylann Roof’s federal death penalty trial. He is accused of shooting nine black parishioners at a Charleston church.
Mayor John Tecklenburg said at a news conference Monday that both trials present a challenge. But he also says it’s also an opportunity for the city to repeat its earlier example of showing that love can conquer hate.
The Charleston area remained calm last year after both shootings, in contrast to cities that were rocked by violence after deadly confrontations between black citizens and white police officers.