South Carolina Officer Charged With Murder In Shooting Death of Black Man
A white police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina has been charged with murder after video footage surfaced Tuesday (April 7) showing him shooting and killing what appears to be an unarmed black man.
Officer Michael T. Slager is seen shooting the victim, 50 year old Walter L. Scott, multiple times in the back as Scott tries to flee the scene. The 33- year-old officer alleged he feared for his life after Scott took his stun gun in a scuffle following a traffic stop.
The incident took place Saturday, April 4 when Slager stopped the driver of a Mercedes-Benz with a broken taillight. According to police reports, Scott ran and a chase gave way. The two ended up in a empty grassy lot where Slager fired his stun gun but says it didn’t stop Scott, moments later Slager calls in the incident on his radio notifying authorities the victim was dead.
However footage of the shooting, taken by a bystander and obtained by the New York Times shows something different. The ordeal begins in the vacant lot with what appears to be cables from the stun gun hanging from Scott’s body. Slager then draws his gun aiming at Scott who appears to be running away from the scene. Scott is then killed after the eighth shot. Slager then returns to where the scuffle began and drops an unknown object near Scott’s body.
Walter Scott now joins the list of many black men and women killed by law enforcement, which has sparked protests across the country in cities including New York, Los Angeles and Ferguson.
“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” said Mayor Keith Summey during a news conference about the shooting. “And if you make a bad decision, don’t care if you’re behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision.”
CLICK HERE to watch the graphic video