CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Less than a week after a former South Carolina police officer pleaded guilty in the 2015 death an unarmed black man who ran from a traffic stop, a “Blue Lives Matter” billboard was installed on the road where the shooting happened.
The Post and Courier reports (http://bit.ly/2q16MIt ) that the sign expressing support for police was installed on Friday, about a mile from where Walter Scott was killed. Former North Charleston officer Michael Slager pleaded guilty May 2 to violating Scott’s civil rights.
The billboard is sponsored by Scott Garland, who has held a cardboard sign with the same words outside Slager’s hearings. He would not comment on whether the placement was purposeful.
Local activist Thomas Dixon says there’s no dispute that officers’ lives matter and that the message inhibits scrutiny of police-involved shootings and “drives another wedge between law enforcement and the community.”