The former police chief of a South Carolina town has been charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed citizen. The shooting raised considerable protest and calls for investigation, in part because the former chief was Caucasian and the unarmed man, shot and killed nearly four years ago, was African American.
Now Chief Richard Combs has found himself charged in the tiny city of Eutawville. The small town only has a population of 300, but the town is one-third African American.
The victim, Bernard Bailey, 54, had arrived at the to Town Hall to fight a ticket that his daughter received for a broken taillight back in May 2011.
But that’s when Combs tried to have Bailey arrested for “obstruction of justice.”
Bailey, realizing this was unlawful, went back outside to his truck, but Chief Combs began wrestling him out of it, trying to get inside himself. Within moments, he fired his pistol twice into Baily’s chest.
The U.S. Justice Department investigation, for their part, determined that Combs did not violate Bailey’s civil rights. But in August 2013, state prosecutors reviewed the case and charged Combs with misconduct in office. If convicted, this carries up to 10 years in prison.
The indictment, issued last Wednesday, did not specify whether the state would pursue murder charges.
(Article by Moreh B.D.K.)