The man who filmed the murder of Walter Scott by police officer Michael T. Slager says that he is afraid for his life and worries that South Carolina cops will kill him as retribution for exposing the lies and attempted cover up perpetrated by Slager.
The arrest of Slager on a murder charge, and the truth of the incident would never have come to light, had Feidin Santana not used his phone to capture the now viral footage.
The video showed that Scott was running away from officer Slager when the cop pulled out his gun and shot him up to 8 times, killing him. Slager initially claimed that he feared for his life as Scott had attempted to grab his taser and was struggling with the cop. The video also shows Slager throwing down his taser next to Scott’s body, in an effort to plant evidence.
Speaking with NBC news, Mr Santana said “I felt that my life, with this information, might be in danger.”
Santana noted that the officers did notice he was filming after the shooting had taken place, and ordered him to stop and “wait right here” while they waited for backup to arrive. Instead of taking that risk, Santana ran away from the scene and subsequently leaked the video online and through news media.
“I know what I saw and I expressed myself to them [the police]. It was an abuse and I saw with my own eyes. I said I had a video tape,” Santana said. “I realized that would not be good in that moment. I ran to my job.” he added.
“I’ve seen that movie before” Santana said, explaining that he feared for his life after having seen Slager kill Scott in cold blood.
Santana added that he had considered deleting the incriminating evidence. “I was scared. I am still scared,” he said. “But I decided to show my face. My life has changed. People know where I live and where I work. I thought about staying anonymous but everyone including the police know who I am.”
“At some point, I thought about staying anonymous and not showing my face and not talking about it. But this [is] something that has to go beyond that.” he said.
Santana also noted that he now varies the routes he walks to work, and has hired private security to watch out for him.
“The first thing he said to me this morning was, how can I get protection,” Santana’s lawyer Todd Rutherford said. “What does he do when the people that are supposed to protect us are the ones that are turned against us?”
Santana reached out to the family of Scott, saying “If I were to have a family member that would happen [to], I would like to know the truth.”
The Scott family’s lawyer, L. Chris Stewart, told The Associated Press that Santana is a ‘hero’. “We didn’t know he existed. He came out the blue.” Stewart said. “What if there was no video? What if there was no witness, or ‘hero’ as I call him, to come forward?”
Scott’s mother, Judy Scott, said this week that she thanks Santana for coming forward.
“He was there. God planned that. He’s the ram in the bush — I truly believe that,” the mother said.
Santana concurred with her, noting “I think she was right. God put me there for a reason.”
Santana met with the family in an emotional encounter Thursday.
Santana is right to publicize himself as much as he can, given that the man who filmed Eric Garner’s high profile death at the hands of cops is still languishing in prison, despite having raised bail.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.