More footage has been released from the dash camera of former Charleston Police officer Michael Slager’s police car.
CNN is reporting that the new footage shows the beginning of the altercation, when Officer Slager had pulled over driver Walter Scott and a passenger. Slager had originally pulled Scott over for a faulty tail light.
As shown in the newly released footage, Slager gets Scott’s Mercedes-Benz pulled over, then goes to Scott’s window to explain why he was pulled over. After a brief discussion, Slager returns to his car. A few moments later, Scott gets out of his car, and Slager orders Scott back into the vehicle. About 20 seconds later, Scott gets out of his vehicle for the last time and flees.
Slager begins pursuit of Scott, and the released footage shows Slager going after Scott. The released footage also verifies there was a passenger in the car. It was later discovered that the witness was questioned and subsequently released. The released footage does not show anything after Slager is out of camera range. The footage that shows Scott being fired upon was filmed on a smartphone by Feidin Santana, who was walking to work when he heard saw Slager chasing Scott.
According to the Washington Post, during the traffic stop, Scott did not provide proof of insurance because he hadn’t yet purchased the vehicle. Slager was checking Scott for possible infractions, when Scott began his seesaw in and out of the car. An investigation later showed that Scott possibly fled due to the fact that he had a bench warrant for his arrest because he is behind in child support payments to the tune of $18,104.43 in total.
Though the newly released footage doesn’t show more, there is audio that is partially discernable. Once out of camera range, you can hear Slager calling in for support and giving a description of Scott. A few moments later, there’s some inaudible content due to the music playing in Slager’s car, then Slager calls out “Taser! Taser! Taser!” A few moments after that, you can hear gunshots.
Slager then announces, while breathing heavily, “Shots fired. Subject is down. He grabbed my taser.”
Though Slager has not made a comment, his new lawyer, Andrew J. Savage III, emailed the following statement.
“As we focus in on the facts, we will probably have more to say, but it is far too early for us to be saying what we think. Slager’s previous counsel fell into that trap and we have no intention of doing our client further harm.”
[Image courtesy of Reuters]