SOURCE: The Post and Courier- October 22, 2016, Andrew Knapp  |  Read entire article


Deception, secrecy, lies. And videotape.

Those are fast becoming prominent themes in the shooting death of Walter Scott — from the initial questioning of the North Charleston patrolman who killed him, to last-minute scientific testing in the case that has prompted broad pledges of transparency, to the very courtroom where those topics were discussed Friday on the eve of a murder trial that will shift the nation’s eyes to Charleston.

Circuit Judge Clifton Newman, who is presiding over former police officer Michael Slager’s case, ejected most of the public from a portion of Friday’s proceeding when prosecutors were expected to testify about whether state agents used deception to get an interview with the lawman. Newman did not give a reason for closing the courtroom and allowed certain people who were not attorneys on the case, including Scott’s family and investigators, to stay.

The judge’s move came after a defense attorney cited case law allowing for prosecutors’ testimony outside the public’s view. The Post and Courier objected and requested a thorough explanation. But the judge refused to hear the newspaper’s representative and did not say why the public could not attend.

Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson testified behind closed doors. Deputy Solicitor Bruce DuRant also was expected to take the stand.

After that portion of the hearing had ended and Newman allowed the public to return, the judge also told attorneys to file future motions under seal.

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SOURCE: The Post and Courier- October 22, 2016