A South Carolina police officer’s murder charge provided as evidence a video of officer Michael Slager shooting Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, eight times in the back. But before this video appeared the police department and Slager’s attorney had created a story which blamed Scott for the shooting.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, the video that led to the South Carolina officer’s murder charges shows Scott running away from Slager. “The officer discharged his weapon eight times in Scott’s direction, hitting him four times in the back and once in the ear. Two of those shots proved to be fatal.” When the family of Scott saw the video (which can be seen in higher resolution on Vimeo), they held a press conference.
Based upon reports, for at least two days, police officer Michael Slager was unaware the video of the shooting even existed until an anonymous bystander provided it as evidence. The Post and Courier reported the initial story where Slager gave his account of what supposedly happened.
“A statement released by North Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor said a man ran on foot from the traffic stop and an officer deployed his department-issued Taser in an attempt to stop him. That did not work, police said, and an altercation ensued as the men struggled over the device. Police allege that during the struggle the man gained control of the Taser and attempted to use it against the officer. The officer then resorted to his service weapon and shot him, police alleged.”
Then, on Monday, Slager had his lawyer, David Aylor, release a statement where he claimed he properly followed all the standard police procedures before resorting to using his gun.
“When confronted, Officer Slager reached for his Taser — as trained by the department — and then a struggle ensued,” Aylor said. “The driver tried to overpower Officer Slager in an effort to take his Taser…. [Slager] felt threatened and reached for his department-issued firearm and fired his weapon.”
Unfortunately, the video does not show what happened directly before the shooting. The bystander did not begin recording until a moment before Walter Scott attempted to run away, but it does clearly show Slager shooting Scott in the back.
Already, Michael Scott’s death is being compared to that of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. The Daily Beast also notes the video seemingly shows Michael Slager planting evidence in order to provide a cover for his story.
“After Scott is cuffed, Slager jogs back to where his Taser lies in the dirt, picks it up, carries it over, and drops it next to Scott’s body. This apparent planting of a weapon on Scott is exactly what many blacks say, without evidence, happens after one of their own is killed by a cop.”
Based upon the video evidence, North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey says the SC officer’s murder charges are entirely appropriate, saying, “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.”
[Image via Townhall]