Eight shots to the back of an unarmed man, lying about the events, allegedly planting evidence and a bystander with a camera phone is what it takes to indict a cop these days.
In the case of Walter Scott, whose murder was caught on tape by a bystander showing the unarmed man who was shot in the back six times (after the officer fired eight times as he ran away) in April. The officer involved, Michael Slager, was indicted by a South Carolina grand jury Monday on homicide charges.
After Scott was shot and killed, the North Charleston police officer attested that the unarmed black man had given him no choice but to open fire on the man after he grabbed his taser and threatened the officer.
However, after a video taken by a bystander surfaced, Slager’s story was shown to be a fabrication.
The video shows the incident where Slager has Scott partially handcuffed, struggling, and Scott breaks free and turns to run. Slager draws his weapon and fires eight bullets into Scott’s back, killing the military veteran. Slager stands over Scott’s body and continues to handcuff him, and then returns to the spot where he opened fire, grabs an object (what appears to be his taser gun) which fell off his belt during the struggle. Another officer walked on scene at that moment and Slager returns to Scott’s lifeless body and appears to drop the alleged taser near Scott while the other officer looks on.
This is a frame-by-frame analysis by CNN of the Walter Scott video:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xs4HFCgvLo?rel=0]
Slager’s attorney, David Aylor, released this statement following the shooting, saying:
When confronted, Officer Slager reached for his Taser — as trained by the department — and then a struggle ensued. The driver tried to overpower Officer Slager in an effort to take his Taser.
Seconds later, the report added, he radioed that the suspect wrested control of the device. Even with the Taser’s prongs deployed, the device can still be used as a stun gun to temporarily incapacitate someone.
Slager ‘felt threatened and reached for his department-issued firearm and fired his weapon.’
Aylor dropped Slager’s case almost immediately after the video surfaced.
Homicide is the only charge the state of South Carolina is pursuing. In the past five years, with 209 officer-involved shootings, Slager is the first cop not to be exonerated. If found guilty he will not be eligible for the death penalty, prosecutors say.
Featured Image via Charleston County Police Department