Bill to Ban Police Ticket Quotas May Get Vote this Week in SC House

FILE- In this Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015 file photo, Attorneys for Walter Scott's family, Justin T. Bamberg answers questions during a news conference after a bail hearing for former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, in Charleston, S.C. South Carolina legislator, Rep. Justin Bamberg, wants to bar law enforcement agencies from setting traffic ticket quotas or evaluating officers by the number of citations they write, saying that forces officers to pull people over for minor violations. Bamberg, an attorney for the family of Walter Scott, points to ex-officer Michael Slager’s own defense attorney saying his client wouldn’t have stopped Scott in the first place _ for a broken third brake light _ if not for quotas.(AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File)


A bill that would ban police ticket quotas in South Carolina could come up for a vote this week in the South Carolina House, according to its sponsor. Rep. Justin Bamberg, D-Bamberg, says he’s heard from people who think they got pulled over because officers were trying to meet a quota.

But he also represents the family of Walter Scott, who was shot and killed last year in North Charleston after a traffic stop by then-Officer Michael Slager. Slager is charged with murder in the shooting, after video showed Scott running away when he was shot multiple times in the back.

“During the course of the Walter Scott case, one thing that was presented by Officer Slager, through his attorney in open court, was that, but for a ticket quota system in North Charleston, he would have never stopped Walter in the first place,” Rep. Bamberg says. Scott was stopped because the third brake light on his vehicle, the one in the rear window, was not working.

North Charleston officials say there is no quota system at the police department.

Rep. Bamberg says he has not heard any opposition to the bill. “Everybody says they don’t have quotas. Go figure. But at the end of the day, I think we can get this bill passed and I think we can get it passed this year.”

The May 1 “crossover” deadline is near, when a bill has to have passed in either the House or the Senate and “crossed over” to the other body by May 1 to have a real chance of becoming law this year.

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