USC students show support for North Charleston shooting victim
Sonia Canzater encouraged USC students to wear green shirts Monday in support of Walter Scott.
One event organizer, Joseph Wideman, hopes the protest will create change in law enforcement.
By: Sarah Ferraro
A viral video showing the shooting death of a North Charleston man after a routine traffic stop has caused a strong reaction across the nation. The shooting of Walter Scott by a North Charleston police officer is the most recent in a series of high profile cases of police brutality.
University of South Carolina students organized on Monday to take a stand on the issue. Students wore green shirts like the one Scott wore in the video as well as name tags that read "My name is Walter Scott."
USC law students Joseph Wideman and Sonia Canzater organized the demonstration. Canzater said the goal was to bring awareness to the issues.
"It just seems to be a consistent problem of the improper use of deadly force, and just to bring awareness to it and challenge leaders of law enforcement," said Canzater. "They need to critically address this issue, they need to make changes, some tangible visible changes in training, police performance, and their standards of operations so that tragedies like this will not occur anymore."
The North Charleston police department took swift action after the video was released. Officer Michael Slager was fired and charged three days after the incident.
Canzater was pleased with the quick action but says there is still more to be done.
"I'm really concerned that maybe the message is not being received, because changes don't really seem to be made," said Canzater.
Students across USC's campus participated and Wideman hopes the impact spreads beyond the university community.
""I'm hoping that it'll start those hard discussions in our own community. If each community starts fixing from the inside out, then it can expand from state-to-state," said Wideman.
Wideman is optimistic that the tragedy can be a cause for change in the improper use of deadly force by police.