Politics & Government

Tim Scott’s ‘Walter Scott Act’ would monitor police shootings nationwide

A bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Tim Scott would honor a South Carolina man killed by a police officer by creating a national database of officer-involved shootings

The North Charleston Republican last week introduced the Walter Scott Notification Act, a bill that would require states that receive federal funds for law enforcement to document anytime an officer is involved in a shooting that results in a civilian casualty.

The act is named after Walter Scott, an unarmed man who was shot and killed by a North Charleston police officer in 2015 after running from a traffic stop.

The case surged into the national spotlight because of a bystander’s video, showing Walter Scott being shot by police officer Michael Slager, who later pleaded guilty to violating Scott’s civil rights.

Tim Scott (who is not related to the shooting victim) said he introduced the bill “In hopes of capturing more details and facts so that we can better address the issues that lead to officer-related shooting deaths.”

“I believe this can help us keep both our officers and our communities safer,” Scott said.

Under the legislation, states would be required to keep track of a number of data points, including name, race, description of event, and overall circumstances that led up to the weapon being discharged.

Failure to comply could lead to a 10 percent cut in a state’s federal grant funding.