South Carolina Hero Shoots Man in Back Eight Times

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Video Shows Moment South Carolina Cop Shot Driver

Video Shows Moment South Carolina Cop Shot Driver

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey announced the charges at a hastily called news conference in which he said City Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager made “a bad decision.”

Saturday’s shooting, which began as a traffic stop over a faulty brake light, occurred as Americans grapple with issues of trust between law enforcement and minority communities after a series of deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police. They include the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner on Staten Island, New York. Both sparked protests nationwide.

In the Charleston case, authorities said the victim, 50-year-old Walter Lamer Scott, was shot after the officer already hit him with a stun gun.

“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” Summey said. “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.”

A video of the shooting released to news media outlets shows the officer firing eight shots at Scott’s back as Scott is running away. Scott falls on the eighth shot, fired after a brief pause. The video then shows the officer slowly walking toward him, and ordering him to put his hands behind his back.

When Scott doesn’t move, Slager pulls his arms back and cuffs his hands. Then he walks briskly back to where he fired the shots, picks up an object, and returns the 30 feet or so back to Scott before dropping the object by Scott’s feet.

Slager’s then-attorney David Aylor had released a statement Monday saying the officer felt threatened and that Scott was trying to grab Slager’s stun gun. Aylor dropped Slager as a client after the video surfaced.

Attorney L. Chris Stewart, who came to North Charleston a day after the shooting to represent the family, said the video forced authorities to act quickly and decisively, and he called the person who made the video a hero.

“What happened today doesn’t happen all the time,” Stewart told a news conference. What if there was no video?” Scott’s mother stood nearby, saying, “Thank you, Lord” and “Hallelujah.”

Scott may have tried to run from the officer because he owed child support, which can get someone sent to jail in South Carolina until they pay it back, Stewart said. He had four children, was engaged and had been honorably discharged from the U.S. Coast Guard. There were no violent offenses on his record, the attorney said. Stewart said the family plans to sue the police department.

Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson said the Federal Bureau of Investigation will also investigate the shooting.

At the earlier news conference with the mayor, North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers appeared close to tears.

“I have been around this police department a long time and all the officers on this force, the men and women, are like my children,” he told reporters. “So you tell me how a father would react seeing his child do something? I’ll let you answer that yourself.”

Slager was denied bond at a brief first appearance hearing Tuesday. He was not accompanied by a lawyer. If convicted, he could face 30 years to life in prison. Slager also served in the United States Coast Guard and had been with North Charleston police for five years.

North Charleston is South Carolina’s third-largest city and for years battled back from an economic slump caused by the closing of the Charleston Naval Base on the city’s waterfront in the mid-1990s.

But now the city has bounced back in a big way, largely in part to the huge investment by Boeing, which has a 787 aircraft manufacturing plant in the city and employs about 7,500 people in South Carolina, most of them in North Charleston.

The shooting occurred as heightened scrutiny is being placed on police officer shootings, particularly those that involve white officers and unarmed black suspects. A grand jury declined to indict Ferguson, Missouri, officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Brown last August, leading to nationwide protests.

In a separate case in South Carolina, a white police officer who shot a 68-year-old black man to death last year in his driveway was charged Tuesday with a felony: discharging a gun into an occupied vehicle. A prosecutor previously tried to indict North Augusta officer Justin Craven on a manslaughter charge in the February 2014 death of Ernest Satterwhite. But a grand jury instead chose misconduct in office, which is a far lesser charge.

Craven chased Satterwhite for 9 miles beyond city limits to the man’s driveway in Edgefield County. After Satterwhite parked, the officer repeatedly fired through the driver-side door, prosecutors said. The 25-year-old officer faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the gun charge.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Crowdfunding campaign for SC police officer suspended.

    The “Michael T. Slager Support Fund,” which appeared at IndieGoGo, no longer exists, and its page was replaced on Friday by a generic 404 page with no explanation.

    In a statement to Ars Technica, IndieGoGo confirmed that the campaign “did not meet” the standards of the site’s Trust and Safety Team.

    There is a new campaign fortunately, the: “Making Michael Slager Know Murder Does Not Profit” crowdfund is well underway. Send them a buck and leave them a comment if you like.
    – – – –

    The Mother Of Michael Slager Is “In Denial” About His Murdering Walter Scott By Shooting Him in the Back

    The officer initially pulled Scott’s vehicle over due to a broken brake light. Scott new he was in the system for unpaid child support.

    In a newly released video, Scott appears to stop, get out of the car, and flee from Slager. Video taken by the bystander reveals what happened next.

    In the interview, Slager’s mother said she’s praying for the Scott family. “I know there are changes in both their family and my family … and that’s the part that bothers me. They’ve changed forever.”

    – changes in their families? really?

    Walter Scott was 50-years-old and had served two years in the U.S. Coast Guard before being honorably discharged. He had four children. Weeks before the shooting, he became engaged to marry his long-time girlfriend.

    After the shooting, examination of Scott’s police record indicated ten arrests, for contempt of court regarding failure to pay child support or to appear for court hearings.

  2. Michael T. Slager Support Fund at Indiegogo
    $1,559 RAISED OF $5,000 GOAL. Costs $1 to leave him a message.

    comments so far:

    Andrew Corbin
    3 hours ago
    THIS GUY DESERVES THE DEATH PENALTY. I DONATED $1 JUST SO I COULD POST THIS MESSAGE. FUCK HIM!!!

    Cubepeep
    fuck you
    3 hours ago

    I’ve read a few of the anti-Slager comments here, and they do strike me as being generated by a load of black-loving, UK lesbians (probably), and not being representative of us normal people who believe it is our absolutely god-given, 2nd-amendment right to to shoot an unarmed black man in the back 5 times, for a traffic violation. (or to be honest, for anything really … are you with me?!)

    iphonemodz702
    7 hours ago
    Thank you for keeping our streets safe from that nignog

    Mike Scheflowski
    7 hours ago
    I think this murderer, I mean officer is one of the most disgraceful people i’ve ever seen in my life. 1) he could have easily chased the slow 50 yr old down and tackled and cuffed him without incident, but he is too stupid and lazy and he thinks that murdering him would be a better idea, and not only that, lets plant a taser next to him for a good crooked cop/killer experience…..and then we’ll force you to pay a dollar to make a comment

    Peterside Onwuta
    8 hours ago
    its unfortunate for both as they are both victims. i know its going to be tooo hard for the dead and even harder for slager. i hope both families will find a way to heal their wounds.

    affigne
    9 hours ago
    Looks like cold-blooded murder to me. Anyone with more than $1 to donate here (to “earn” the right to comment) should instead send support to the victim’s family—not to help this killer!

    Jon Sieruga
    10 hours ago
    He made some horrible decisions. No ifs, ands or buts about it. But he was trying to keep the streets safe. I believe that was his goal. He shouldn’t be with cold-blooded killers and psychopaths. I don’t know this officer, but I’m guessing he’s feeling really bad about this time. And I feel bad for him.

    Kevin Lucas
    16 hours ago
    MURDERER!!! Here’s my $1. to say use it for the electric bill to fry that coward pig!

    Barrack Obama
    41 minutes ago
    $100USD

    FUCK THIS GUY, HOPE HE GETS THE DEATH PENALTY!
    3 hours ago
    $ Amt Private

    Donation Story BS:

    We’re campaigning to show our Support for Officer Michael T. Slager! We believe in all of our LEOs and want to publicly support them! Although he may have made mis-steps in judgement he was protecting the community. Michael is a former Coast Guardsman with two stepchildren and a wife who is expecting a child, served for more than five years with the department without being disciplined. Please help in any way you can. He has served five years with the department without being disciplined.

  3. “What happened today doesn’t happen all the time,” Stewart told a news conference. What if there was no video?” Scott’s mother stood nearby, saying, “Thank you, Lord” and “Hallelujah.”

    The victim’s family is fortunate for video evidence. Without this type of evidence it probably would be something along the lines: It’s not a foul if no one sees it.

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