UPDATE: News networks have begun removing versions of the video citing copyright. Classy.
Video has emerged of a police officer shooting and killing a man who was running away from him after a traffic stop. The footage directly contradicts the officer’s story, and has led to charges of murder being brought against the cop.
The incident occurred in North Charleston, SC, when 50-year-old Walter Scott fled from the scene of a traffic stop, because there was a warrant out for his arrest.
Officer Michael Slager, aged 33, stopped Scott for a broken tail light. When Scott ran, Slager pursued him into a park area, catching up to him.
In his report, Officer Slager had claimed that when he got out his Taser, Scott attempted to grab it, prompting Slager to fatally shoot him because he felt his life was in danger.
Slager was unaware, however, that a nearby quick thinking resident began filming the incident just in time to capture the cop, from at least 20 feet away, slugging Scott 8 times in the back as he ran away. The cop then yelled at Scott to put his hands behind his back, and cuffed him.
The man filming the video remained quiet and kept his distance, as another officer appeared on the scene. Both cops were unaware they were being filmed.
Officer Slager is even seen in the video taking his taser and dropping it next to Scott’s by then lifeless body, presumably in an attempt to plant evidence to back up his false account. The video ends with the officer checking Scott’s pulse. He is clearly aware that the man is probably dead or dying.
“I can tell you that as a result of that video and the bad decision made by our officer he will be charged with murder and that’s not something that we like to hear,” Mayor R. Keith Summey told reporters at a press conference.
Before the video emerged, Slager’s attorney, David Aylor, had defended the cop’s actions, stating that “Officer Slager believes he followed all the proper procedures and policies of the North Charleston Police Department.”
“The driver tried to overpower Officer Slager in an effort to take his Taser.” Aylor had also stated.
However, since viewing the damning footage, the attorney summarily dropped Slager as his client. “I’m no longer involved in form or fashion,” Aylor told reporters.
Slager is now on administrative leave indefinitely while the case is being investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
The warrant for Scott’s arrest was related to missed child support payments. Records show he had a history of arrests, mostly related to child support payments and contempt of court charges. In other words, the man was not a violent thug or a criminal.
“Walter was a nice, good, honest person… He was a grown man working hard to take care of his family,” Samuel Scott, the victim’s cousin said to local reporters.
This incident goes to show how important it is for citizens to film police activity in the neighborhoods. Without video evidence in this case, the police officer would most likely have gotten away with gunning down someone who posed little, if any, threat to him, then outright lying about it.
Indeed, The State reports that “Police in South Carolina have fired their weapons at 209 suspects in the past five years, and a handful of officers have been accused of pulling the trigger illegally – but none has being convicted.”
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.