Karen Sharpe, the mother of former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager, choked back tears in an interview with ABC News Thursday as she discussed the fatal shooting that has fractured a community and resulted in Slager being charged with murder.
When asked if she had watched the video of the Slager’s shooting of fleeing suspect Walter Scott, Sharpe stated she hasn’t and she doesn’t think she will. Sharpe went on to say that she realizes some people may consider her to be in denial of the accusations facing her son Michael, but she admits that she has the perspective as the former officer’s mother rather than an outside observer.
“I know how Michael is… and I just can’t imagine that my… that this would ever… I don’t know what is portrayed of him because I haven’t listened to anything, but he’s a very good person. He’s a very good person,” Sharpe continued before breaking down into tears.
Sharpe also acknowledged the grief of the Scott family in mourning the loss of Walter Scott and remarked that both families are now forever changed.
The interview of Michael Slager’s mother comes out the same day as South Carolina authorities released dashcam video footage from the former officer’s police cruiser. The initial interaction between Slager and suspect Walter Scott as it is seen on the dashcam footage appears to be uneventful, though an audio recording suggests Scott’s story to the officer changed a couple of times as Slager tried to gather information. Slager returns to his police car, most likely to run Scott’s identification, and after several moments, Scott is seen exiting his vehicle and running off out of camera shot.
Slager alleged that an altercation took place outside of the dashcam’s parameters in which Walter Scott attempted to take the Taser away from the officer. While no video of that part of the meeting between Slager and Scott has surfaced, a witness video follows the shooting seconds before the officer fires several rounds until a back up officer arrives to aid Slager. The witness video, which resulted in Michael Slager’s arrest and firing, appears to show Slager shooting Scott in the back as he runs away, as well as allegedly stashing the discarded Taser by Scott’s side.
Despite the mounting evidence against him, when asked if she was afraid she would never see her son free again, Karen Sharpe stated she is not giving up hope for Michael Slager’s release.
“I’m not going to worry. I’m not going to think about that right now. I just have to take one day at a time. What will happen will happen and that’s the way it will be. And I can only hope that it’s not forever.”
[Image courtesy of ABC News]