Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Cop is charged with black man's murder after opening fire eight times and shooting him in the back as he ran away

Patrolman Michael Slager, 33, opened fire on Walter Scott, 50, as he ran from him in North Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday morning.

The killing comes at a time of mounting unrest over police use of force - particularly against black men - became a national issue with the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson last summer.

Officer Slager - who had previously said he was only sticking to procedure - was charged with murdering Scott on Tuesday afternoon after the incendiary footage emerged, and has been booked into jail.

The fatal encounter reportedly began after Slager pulled over Scott on account of a busted tail light.

Scott ran, it was claimed, at which point Slager tried to Taser him. The officer claims that Scott managed to wrest the weapon away - at which point he drew his pistol.

Footage of the the deadly encounter, acquired by the Charleston Post and Courier, begins as Scott is fleeing.

He gets a few feet away before Scott opens fire - seven shots in quick succession, then an eighth.

Scott crumples and falls face-down on a patch of grass. Slager then walks over, shouts at him to put his hands behind his back, then handcuffs him. As soon as paramedics arrived, Scott was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities arrested Slager today, within hours of the footage emerging.

Yesterday, an attorney for Slager issued a statement saying that Slager opened fire because he felt threatened. The statement, reported by local station WCIV-TV, added that: 'Officer Slager believes he followed all the proper procedures and policies of the North Charleston Police Department'.

A statement initially issued by Slager said that he turned to his gun after Scott wrested the Taser away from him. Slager said he shot Scott because he 'felt threatened' by him.

Under South Carolina law, Slager could be eligible for the death penalty if convicted of murder.

Scott's brother, Anthony, spoke after his brother's death. He said Walter had a fiancée, two siblings and children - though he did not specify how many.

He told WCIV: 'My brother is a kind and sweet person. He talked to everybody, knew all our family members by name, anybody that came in touch with Walter loved him.'

'He loved the [Dallas] Cowboys. We had planned to go to go see them play but I guess that won't happen now.'

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress. If you cannot access it, go to the MIRROR SITE, where posts appear as well as on the primary site. I have reposted the archives (past posts) for Wicked Thoughts HERE or HERE or here

No comments: