- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A look at some of the main people involved in the fatal shooting of a black man by a white police officer in North Charleston.

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THE OFFICER

Michael Thomas Slager, 33, was a police officer in North Charleston. He’s charged with murder. Video shows him firing eight times at a black man who runs away from him after a traffic stop.

Slager initially said he fired in self-defense after the man grabbed his Taser.

Slager is white. He’s married, and his wife is eight months pregnant.

In 2013, a complaint was filed alleging that Slager used excessive force against another unarmed black man. The man, Mario Givens, says Slager showed up at his door and used a stun gun on him in the stomach. Givens was later released without charge.

Slager was allowed to stay on the force. The police department says it will now review that case again.

Slager was denied bond at a brief hearing Tuesday. A prominent Charleston defense attorney is representing him. If convicted, Slager could face 30 years to life in prison.

Slager served in the United States Coast Guard and had been with North Charleston police for five years.

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THE VICTIM

Walter L. Scott, a 50-year-old black man, was fatally shot Saturday. He was initially pulled over because his brake light was out.

Scott had four children, was engaged and had been honorably discharged from the U.S. Coast Guard.

He had had been jailed three times for failure to pay child support, court records show. In late 2008, he was jailed for six months over $6,800 in back child support. In 2011, he spent a night in jail when he was $7,500 behind. And in 2012, he spent another night in jail when he owed $3,500.

Scott may have tried to run from the officer because he owed child support again and didn’t want to go back to jail, his father and a family attorney said.

There were also traffic tickets but no violent offenses on his record.

Scott had been in a relationship with the mother of a player on the University of Mississippi football team, according to a statement from coach Hugh Freeze. For junior Fadol Brown, Scott “served as a father figure” for years, the coach said.

A funeral will be held Saturday.

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THE WITNESS

Feidin Santana says he was walking to work Saturday morning when he saw Slager and Scott. Santana says he started recording the incident on his cellphone when he heard the sound of a stun gun.

“Mr. Scott was trying just to get away from the Taser,” said Santana, a barber originally from the Dominican Republic.

Santana, who’s been cooperating with authorities, said he was so shaken that he considered erasing the video and leaving town - he feared for his safety.

“My life has changed after this,” Santana said. “People know where I live; people know where I work. … At some point, I thought about staying anonymous.”

Officials have said they don’t think there were any other witnesses.

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THE POLICE CHIEF

Eddie Driggers began his career in law enforcement in 1975 as an officer in North Charleston, according to a biography on the agency’s website. In 1986, he joined the Charleston County Police Department and eventually became assistant sheriff.

In 2012, Mayor Keith Summey hired him to lead the North Charleston Police Department.

“Chief Driggers’ philosophy is that the office does not belong to him, but rather to the people he serves,” the website says.

In 2012, Driggers was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church. He is married.

At a news conference Wednesday, protesters called for Driggers to answer questions instead of the mayor. But officials said that because the investigation of the shooting has been turned over to the State Law Enforcement Division, Driggers could not answer specific questions. He did say that the video “sickened” him.

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THE MAYOR

Keith Summey was elected in October 1994 and has won re-election five times. He’s widely credited with helping the city recover from the economic devastation when the Charleston Naval Base closed in the mid-1990s. Now the city is home to Boeing’s South Carolina operations.

Summey is a South Carolina native. He’s married with two children and four grandchildren, according to a city biography.

Summey announced the charges against Slager on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Driggers and Summey spoke with Scott’s parents at their home and called it “a good visit.”

Going forward, Summey said, officials will work on open dialogue and a closer relationship with the community.

At the end of Wednesday’s news conference, protesters called for Summey’s resignation, chanting “The mayor’s got to go.”

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