Former police chief facing retrial in killing of black man in South Carolina

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – A former small-town South Carolina police chief is set to stand trial anew this week in the 2011 shooting death of an unarmed black man.

Richard Combs, the white former Eutawville police chief, is charged with murder in Bernard Bailey’s death.

After Combs’ indictment last December, the case drew comparisons to the shooting of a black man in Ferguson, Missouri, and the chokehold death of a black by police officers in New York City. Following trial in January, a jury in Orangeburg deadlocked.

Jury selection begins again Monday in Columbia, about 35 miles from Orangeburg.

The shooting happened after Combs tried to arrest Bailey on an obstruction of justice warrant prosecutors contend was trumped up. The defense said Combs fired in self-defense, caught in the door of Bailey’s moving truck.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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