Release shooting video
When police officers open fire on someone, the public deserves to know what happened and why. That’s why Summerville police need to release body cam video of a recent incident in which police shot a motorist who is charged with attempted murder as he fled a road block.
In Wednesday morning’s officer-involved shooting in Summerville, there’s a significant gap between what police and at least one witness say happened.
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Car salesman Raynard Smith told The Post and Courier that at least two police officers opened fire on a motorist, 23-year-old Taylor Robert Johnson, after he allegedly attempted to flee a stop at a drivers license checkpoint.
In contrast, police have charged Mr. Johnson with trying to kill the officers by running them down.…
Shooting into a moving vehicle creates hazards that have prompted some cities to prohibit their police officers from doing it, even when a vehicle is headed toward an officer. The reasoning is that bullets likely won’t stop the vehicle, and the gunfire could hit bystanders or cause a wounded driver to crash into pedestrians or other vehicles.
Mr. Smith said Mr. Johnson’s Buick, parked in a driveway, “had a clear path and it backed up and went into traffic.” The officers were behind the car when “they start shooting at him,” Mr. Smith said.
That’s at variance with the scenario presented by police and the second witness, and it begs the question: What good is the video for accountability if the public can’t see it?
Good for Leatherman
Thumbs up to S.C. Sen. Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. We’re pleased that he was re-elected late last month as the president pro tempore of the South Carolina Senate. We’re disappointed but not surprised that 16 senators — all Republicans — voted against him. That’s politics.
Leatherman is conservative yet progressive. Some of his colleagues don’t think he is conservative enough. They want us to believe that Leatherman did something wrong when he stepped down as president pro tempore in order to avoid rising to the powerless position of lieutenant governor. This was after Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster succeeded Gov. Nikki Haley, who now is the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Leatherman didn’t want to give up his power in Columbia. His foes are envious of that power.
People in Florence County and the rest of the Pee Dee should be pleased to have powerful representation that nearly is unprecedented. If he had not maneuvered to regain his top spot in the Senate, Leatherman would have let down constituents who voted for his re-election to a 10th term. We suspect that few of the 16 senators who voted against him would have given up the president pro tempore position if they had been in Leatherman’s position. …
Leatherman has used his power wisely for the benefit of the entire state. The Senate and South Carolina citizens have benefited from Leatherman’s outstanding leadership. We look forward to more of the same.
Raise gas tax
Way too much time has been wasted on something that should be as close to a bipartisan matter as anything else. Democrats and Republicans alike should be able to travel our state’s roads and come away with the same assessment. They’re in trouble, and they’re getting worse.
Our state has bypassed consideration of an increase in the gasoline tax for far too many years now. It’s OK, lawmakers. Hiking the gas tax is not likely to be what gets you kicked out this election cycle. No, it’s more likely to be inaction on the roads problem because they just keep getting worse. And coastal lawmakers, please refrain from using your silly argument that raising the tax will send the good people of Ohio and West Virginia to some other vacation spot. Hogwash. If it’s Myrtle Beach they want, Myrtle Beach they’ll visit, and without blinking an eye over the increase in prices at the pump. In fact, a higher price on gas won’t likely affect their decisions to spend money at the beach towel and toy stores that dot the roads along the Grand Strand.
So, quit kicking the can down the road. Get off your cans and do something about our roads.