walter-scott-shooting

A South Carolina police officer has been charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed man. Michael Slager, 33, was caught on video shooting Walter Scott, 50, eight times at near point blank range in the back as he attempted to run away.

The incident, which took place Saturday (April 4) began after Slager stopped Scott on a traffic violation. Scott, who had a warrant out for his arrest for failure to pay child support, fled the scene. Slager began pursuit, shooting at Scott with a stun gun. In his initial report, Slager stated that he and Scott were struggling for the weapon and that he felt “threatened” enough to open fire and shoot Walter Scott.

Eyewitness video from an anonymous bystander offers a different story. The video (which can be seen below, warning it is graphic), shows Slager opening fire on Scott as he attempts to run away. Following 8 shots and Scott collapsing to the ground, Slager moves behind the man, placing his wrists in handcuffs and asking him to put his hands behind his back. He then walks over to where the two initially struggled and grabs an object, what looks to be his own taser and drops it near Scott.

North Charleston police chief Eddie Driggers confirmed that Slager was arrested and booked into the county jail on a murder charge.

The mayor, Keith Summery spoke on the incident, 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.”

The South Carolina Law Enforcement and Justice Department have deemed the shooting an on-going investigation.

[The Post and Courier | NYT]