ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) — A white police chief who fatally shot an unarmed black man in South Carolina in 2011 has been charged with murder, and his lawyer says prosecutors took advantage of national outrage toward police to get the indictment.
Richard Combs was indicted Wednesday, the same day a grand jury in New York decided against indicting an officer in a chokehold death and less than two weeks after there was no indictment in the Ferguson, Missouri, police shooting.
Combs was the police chief of Eutawville (YOO'-tah-vihl) in 2011 when he fatally shot Bernard Bailey during a struggle outside town hall.
Prosecutor David Pascoe said at a bond hearing Thursday that he told Combs' lawyer last year that he would pursue a murder charge if a judge rejected Combs' self-defense claim. The judge rejected the claim this week.