The former North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer who was charged with the murder of Walter Scott—a 50-year-old Black man who was fatally shot during a traffic stop—has asked that the state court move his murder trial out of Charleston. Michael Slager was indicted for murder and three other federal charges that included fabricating his encounter with Scott and violations of his civil rights. Following Scott’s death, a video of Slager and Scott’s fatal encounter surfaced. It shows Slager shooting Scott in the back three times as he was running away and then placing a Taser by his body. Before the video emerged, Slager’s official report said that Scott took his Taser and that he had to use lethal force because he “felt threatened.” Slager’s lawyer, Andy Savage, has motioned for the case to be moved out of Charleston because they believe the video footage will negatively affect jurors in the Charleston area. The lawyer said that the video was the “main source of the false and incomplete narrative that permeates this community.” Slager’s legal team did not propose a new location for the trial. A hearing to address the request to change the venue is slated to take place on Friday. The federal trial will start in 2017. Read more.
DOJ Proposes Plan to Better Relationship Between Police and Communities
The Department of Justice is aiming to implement a new plan in efforts to strengthen the strained relationship between law enforcement officials and the communities that they serve. Under the proposed plan, the North Charleston Citizens’ Advisory Commission would be created to specifically focus on community and police relations. The group would include 25 members. The concept was developed by North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers, Mayor Keith Summey and Walter Atkinson from the U.S. Department of Justice. They decided to move forward with bringing the plan to fruition following the death of Walter Scott. The proposal, which has been revised by the public, will be presented to the community on Nov. 3. Read more.
Actor Michael B. Jordan Launches Production Company
Actor Michael B. Jordan is stepping behind the camera to launch his own production company. According to reports, Jordan inked a deal with Skydance Media production company to create television and film projects under his Outlier Productions company. “Michael is an incredibly gifted actor and storyteller whose proven track record on both the big and small screen together with his boundless ambitions make him an ideal partner for us at Skydance,” David Ellison, Chief Executive Officer of Skydance Media, said in a statement. “We are so excited to team up with Michael … on ‘Apollo Park,’ a riveting sports drama about courage, perseverance, and family.” His first project will be a television series titled Apollo Park. “I love telling true, modern stories and Apollo Park—an underdog tale about a very real and very heroic hustler who defies stereotypes and thrives against great odds – has long been a passion project of mine. I’m also very eager to start this new chapter in my career by launching my production company,” said Jordan. Read more.
Netflix to Possibly Order New Series About Race Relations
According to reports, Netflix is considering purchasing a series that captures racial tensions between police officers and communities of color. The 10-episode series, titled Seven Seconds, will be centered on a town in New Jersey as they deal with the aftermath of a cop shooting. The project was created by Veena Sud. It will be developed under Fox 21. Kevin Brown, Lawrence Bender, Alex Reznik and Gavin O’Connor will serve as executive producers. O’Connor will also direct the series. Read more.
Michael Moore Releases ‘Trumpland’ Doc About Hillary Clinton
As the presidential race heats up, director Michael Moore has released a project related to the election. On Tuesday, he debuted a film titled, Michael Moore in TrumpLand in New York City. Contrary to the title, the documentary highlights Moore’s relationship with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. “I wanted to do something subversive here, something that wasn’t expected. That I, of all people, would be making the case for Hillary,” said Moore. “Nobody needs a film to tell you that Donald Trump is full of s–t and an awful human being. Who would come to see that movie? What I thought would be interesting is what if I wrote this one-man show and then performed it in hostile territory.” Moore says he hopes the film will have an influence on those who are opposed to Clinton. Read more.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty