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South Carolina

The Democratic presidential primary candidates are competing in South Carolina on Saturday, hoping to win over voters in the fourth contest of 2020. Follow NPR's live coverage of the primary, including results and analysis.

Updated at 6:15 a.m. ET on Wednesday

The severity of Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm, is intensifying and triggering hurricane warnings along the coasts of the Carolinas, the National Hurricane Center announced in its 5 a.m. Wednesday update.

Updated at 5 a.m. ET on Tuesday

Hurricane Florence is growing in size and strength as it barrels toward the Southeastern U.S. for an expected landfall in the Carolinas later this week as an "extremely dangerous hurricane," according to the National Hurricane Center.

Updated at 6:55 p.m. ET

A jury has sentenced to death the man who murdered nine people in a Charleston church basement in 2015.

The twelve jurors deliberated for about three hours before sentencing Dylann Roof, 22, to die. To impose the death penalty, they had to reach a unanimous decision.

It's been nearly a year since a mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., shocked the nation.

"We woke up today, and the heart and soul of South Carolina was broken," said Gov. Nikki Haley the morning after a gunman killed nine worshippers in what authorities describe as a race-based attack.

At the time, officials struggled to make sense of the crime that unfolded on June 17 during an intimate evening Bible study at Emanuel AME Church.

In South Carolina, a federal grand jury has indicted a white, former police officer on civil rights charges over the shooting death of an unarmed black man last April.

Hillary Clinton won the South Carolina Democratic primary on Saturday, notching a decisive win in a state where she suffered a devastating loss just eight years ago.

The Associated Press called the race for the former secretary of state over rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders just seconds after the polls closed at 7 p.m. ET. With all precincts reporting, Clinton beat Sanders by nearly 50 points, winning 73.5 percent to 26 percent.

Eight years ago, South Carolina was where the wheels started to come off Hillary Clinton's campaign. But tonight, it could be where redemption begins.

The former secretary of state is heavily favored over rival Bernie Sanders in the Palmetto State, in part due to her advantage with the state's sizable African-American population.

Donald Trump has won the South Carolina primary, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio appears to have edged out Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for second place.

"There's nothing easy about running for president, I can tell you. It's tough, it's nasty, it's mean, it's vicious, it's beautiful," Trump declared to his supporters at his victory rally in Spartanburg, S.C.

Trump took 32.5 percent of the vote, while Rubio and Cruz were nearly even with 22.5 percent and 22.3 percent, respectively.

The photo op at the end of Marco Rubio's Greenville rally Thursday morning was the stuff GOP dreams are made of.

The young Latino presidential candidate many top party leaders believe would be their best standard-bearer smiled and cheered, flanked by South Carolina's Indian-American female governor, the state's young black Republican senator and the congressman who's led the investigation into the Benghazi attacks and Hillary Clinton's involvement.

Another big caucus day and primary night on Saturday, when Democrats go to their caucus sites in Nevada, and Republicans go to the polls in South Carolina. Here are five things we'll learn from the results:

1. Is insulting the Bush family — and getting into a fight with the pope — a good idea or not?

This past Sunday during 11 a.m. worship service at Bible Way Church of Atlas Road in Columbia, S.C., there was a short celebration of Black History Month. The church honored John Wesley Matthews Jr., a long-serving black state senator.

After Matthews accepted an award, the pastor of the church, Darrell Jackson Sr., took time to acknowledge another special guest.

Jeb Bush, the son and brother of former presidents, started his campaign promising voters, "I am my own man." However, Bush's standing in polls has steeply declined, and now he is bringing back his brother George W. Bush for help in a place where George W. is still very popular — South Carolina.

The brothers were together on the campaign trail this weekend in the Palmetto State ahead of South Carolina's primary in hopes of giving Jeb Bush a boost. And George W. could help. The former president won South Carolina's GOP primary in 2000, a victory that resurrected his candidacy.

It's the end of an era in Charleston, S.C. One of the longest-serving mayors in the country, Joe Riley, is retiring after 40 years in office. His tenure has seen the transformation of downtown Charleston from a decaying urban center to a top cultural destination.

On a tour of downtown, you can literally see Riley's imprint on the Charleston landscape, down to the most subtle of details – from the paint color at City Hall to the color of the driveway bricks.

"That's Riley Red," he says with a laugh. "It's not because of my hard head, that's just the color."

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has fired Senior Deputy Ben Fields over the white deputy's violent arrest of a black student at a South Carolina high school, which was filmed by several students. Lott said Fields broke department policy in the arrest.

"It's not what I expect from my deputies, and it's not what I tolerate from my deputies," Lott said.

The sheriff said he's glad students documented the arrest with videos, which he said were helpful in reviewing the case.

We've updated our earlier post with the news.

Carly Fiorina's presidential campaign took her to an exam room at a crisis pregnancy center in South Carolina Thursday. She crammed in, along with a pregnant woman, an OB-GYN and a crowd of reporters.

The visit came as the former Hewlett-Packard CEO has doubled down on her opposition to Planned Parenthood. Fiorina visited the Carolina Pregnancy Center in Spartanburg, a Christian-run organization that's becoming a popular campaign stop for presidential candidates opposed to abortion — at least the fifth GOP candidate to visit the center this year.

It was just after sunset on a muggy Friday evening earlier this month, and my wife and I were standing outside a Hardee's in Seneca, S.C. We were at a vigil for Zachary Hammond, a white teenager killed by a police officer during an attempted drug arrest in the restaurant's parking lot, three miles from where we live and teach at Clemson University.

Dylann Roof, who police say carried out a ruthless attack that killed nine black worshippers in a Charleston, S.C., church, is now facing federal hate crime charges along with more than a dozen other serious charges he's already accused of.

"Hate crimes are the original domestic terrorism," Attorney General Loretta Lynch says.

The 33 counts center on both the victims' race and their identity as church-goers who were attempting to follow their religious beliefs when Roof attacked.

During an emotional ceremony and amid popular cheers, the Confederate battle flag was brought down from a 30-foot flagpole that sits on the grounds of the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C.

The historic ceremony marked the end of an era and was conducted by South Carolina state troopers, who marched in formation in front of a cheering crowd of hundreds.

Slowly, the troopers cranked the flag down from the pole, folded it, rolled it up and marched out.

The crowd chanted, "USA! USA! USA!"

How hard can it be to hold hands with someone, even a stranger, if you know it's just for a couple minutes? For a few terrible moments in Charleston last week, I couldn't bring myself to do it.

South Carolina's most prominent political leaders say it's time for their state to stop flying the Confederate battle flag on the grounds of its Statehouse. Gov. Nikki Haley made their position clear Monday afternoon, speaking alongside Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Tim Scott and others.

Calls for moving the Confederate battle flag have grown since the shooting of nine black church members in Charleston last week. After speaking about the efforts to cope with that tragedy, Haley said that she has seen "the heart and soul" of South Carolina.

Lee Stranahan / Creative Commons

In the wake of another mass shooting, President Barack Obama took the podium in the White House press briefing room to address reporters. The shooting in a black church brings up a "dark part" of United States history. "This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked, and we know the hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals," Obama said.

This hour, we explore several threads of the post-Charleston shooting, from the symbols of racism to the use of mental health to explain tragedy.

The nine people who were killed in a mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday have been identified by the authorities.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Police in Charleston, S.C., say a man they suspect opened fire and killed nine people during a Wednesday prayer meeting at one of the city's oldest historically black churches has been captured.

Dashcam video released by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division shows a routine traffic stop by Officer Michael Slager in North Charleston that eventually resulted in Walter Scott, 50, running from the vehicle.

Editor's note on April 24: An image from the video taken by a witness has been removed from this post because the copyright holder has rescinded the permission he granted to the AP to distribute that content.

Michael Slager, the former North Charleston, S.C., police officer who was charged this week with shooting an unarmed black man in the back, killing him, was exonerated in 2013 of accusations that he used excessive force against another unarmed man he thought was a suspect.

Tony Webster / Creative Commons

The shocking video out of South Carolina has race and policing back on the front page. This hour, we learn what a new CCSU report tells us about racial profiling and traffic stops in Connecticut.

Video of S.C. Police Killing a "Staggering" Event

Apr 8, 2015
The Post and Courier

The video of white North Charleston, South Carolina police officer Michael Slager shooting black, unarmed Walter Scott in an open field has ripped open the national wound over race relations and law enforcement abuse. Slager now faces a murder charge after he shot Scott eight times in the back while the 50-year-old father ran away following a traffic stop.

A white police officer who shot and killed a black man after a traffic stop was charged with murder in North Charleston, S.C., on Tuesday.

The Post and Courier, a newspaper in Charleston, reports that officials said a video, which shows officer Michael Slager, 33, firing at 50-year-old Walter Scott as he fled, played a role in the decision.

The paper reports:

"Mayor Keith Summey added during a news conference that Slager's 'bad decision' prompted his arrest.