A white police officer was charged against what is illustrated as a piece-by-piece murder case of the shooting death of an unarmed black man—while running away from the officer.
Based on The New York Times’ reporters Michael S. Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo’s article titled, “South Carolina Officer Is Charged With Murder of Walter Scott,” the shooting happened on Saturday, April 4, 2015 in North Charleston, South Carolina. Officer Michael T. Slager, 33, responded to a traffic stop. This turned to a scuffle between him and Walter, 50, who took his stun gun and ran the opposite direction of him. Michael was said to have been feared for his life due to the loss of his stun gun. The officer then shot at Walter eight times while fleeing away from him.
According to police reports, Officer Slager stopped the driver of a Mercedes-Benz due to a broken taillight. After stopping him via car, Mr. Scott runs away from Officer Slager by foot. It is then how Officer Slager chased the driver, Walter Scott, into the greasy lot near a muffler shop for which a video from a bystander near the muffler shop, given to The New York Times by the Scott family’s lawyer, surfaced showing Officer Slager shooting at Walter.
The video presents a different story which begins at the vacant lot moments after Officer Slager fired his Taser. However, there is something which Officer Slager tossed to the ground before shooting Mr. Walter, and placed near his body after the shooting.
Officer Michael was then fired and charged with murder as anger from protesters erupted. North Charleston police chief, Eddie Driggers told reporters, “I have watched the video, and I was sickened by what I saw.” Also, the Supreme Court stated that any officer may use deadly force against a suspect fleeing away from the officer only when probable cause is found which “poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.”
As of April 13, 2015 there is a possibility of other South Carolina police officers being charged for the shooting death of Walter Scott based on not following protocol enough to save Walter’s life. In the video, Officer Clarence Habersham is seen shortly after the shooting, and wrote a two sentenced report stating that he “attempted to render aid to the victim by applying pressure to the gunshot wounds.” Mr. Scott family’s lawyer, Justin Bamberg as well as black leaders such as Cedric L. Alexander (President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives; member of a task force created by President Obama) awaits many other police reports and autopsy to be revealed. As pieces of the crime unfolds, many such as Walter’s family with four children, and protestors are left questioning the intent of Officer Slager, and demanding more integrity from police officers.
Below is the tapped video from The New York Times: Nytimes.com
Below is a YouTube video from CNN of the Dash Cam from Officer Slager’s police car:
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