A North Charleston police officer was charged with murder Tuesday after law enforcement officials viewed footage of him firing eight shots into the back of a fleeing Black man.
According to Arizona’s Tucson News Now, the shooting occurred last Saturday (Apr. 4) after City Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager stopped 50-year-old Walter Lamer Scott for a faulty brake light. Prior to the shooting, Officer Slager had already tased Scott with a stun gun.
“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said during a news conference. “When you make a bad decision, don’t care if you’re behind the shield or a citizen on the street, you have to live with that decision.”
A citizen who’d witnessed the murder caught the entire encounter on tape. The video shows Slager firing several shots into Scott’s back as he flees in the opposite direction. After Scott dropped on the last shot, the murderous officer calmly walks to his dead body and orders Scott to put his hands behind his back.
When Scott fails to respond, Slager proceeds to put his victim’s lifeless body in handcuffs. The footage also shows Slager returning to the area where he fired the shots to pick up an object (believed to be his taser), which he then drops by Scott’s feet.
Before the video surfaced, Slager’s then-attorney, David Aylor, released a statement Monday claiming that his client felt threatened and that Scott was trying to attack Slager with his stun gun. However, Aylor dropped Slager as a client once the video leaked.
Attorney L. Chris Stewart, who’s representing Scott’s family, said the video forced authorities to act quickly and called the person who recorded the footage a hero.
“What happened today doesn’t happen all the time,” Stewart told a news conference Tuesday. What if there was no video?” Scott’s mother stood nearby, saying, “Thank you, Lord” and “Hallelujah.”
Stewart said that Scott may have run away from the officer because he owed child support, which can mean jail time in South Carolina until the full amount has been paid back. Scott, who had no violent offenses on his record, was engaged, had four children and had been honorably discharged from the U.S. Coast Guard. Stewart said Scott’s family plans to sue the police department.
Slager, who’d been a North Charleston police officer for five years, was denied bond at a first appearance hearing Tuesday. He was unaccompanied by a lawyer. If convicted, he could face 30 years to life in prison.
And we all know how much inmates love racist White cops.
This story is truly horrific and disgusting , but as stated by Attorney L. Chris Stewart, it’s just fortunate that we have video to dismiss the all-too common “he was unarmed, but Black, so I felt threatened” cop lie.
Warning: this video is extremely disturbing!