On December 5, 2016, Judge Clifton Newman declared a mistrial in the case of Michael Slager, the former South Carolina police officer who shot a fleeing black man in the back five times in cold blood.
The incident took place on April 4, 2015. It started when then-officer Slager pulled over a middle-aged black man in a dark older model sedan. The man in the car was later identified as 50-year-old Walter Scott, former U.S. Coast Guard who served his country in the 1980s.
During the traffic stop, Scott jumped out of his vehicle and began to run. At some point during a foot chase, Slager caught up with Scott.
It was at that point, a man named Feidin Santana noticed a commotion in the park area close to him, and pulled out his cell phone just in time to record the fatal shooting.
Near the start of the recording, Scott can be seen breaking away from Slager, with what could be taser cords still attached to his clothing. While Scott was turned facing away from the officer, Slager pulled out his department issued 9mm handgun and fired eight rounds at the fleeing man striking him with five.
But as shocking as the shooting itself was, the video then captures Slager dropping what appears to be a taser near the victim’s body just as he approached and handcuffed him.
You can see the full unedited video of the shooting here.
The case drew almost universal condemnation of Slager’s actions from across the political spectrum.
The most notable critic was neo-conservative Fox News host Sean Hannity, who’s usually so pro-cop with regards to 99.9 percent of all police brutality and shooting videos that his big cleaved chin is often mistaken for a set of police testicles.
Although Hannity could not defend the video, astoundingly one of his black guest, conservative pastor Jesse Peterson, decided to play devil’s advocate while Hannity sharply criticized his lame defense of the accused officer in a scene straight out of an alternate dimension.
Peterson’s nonsense was just too much for his fellow panelist, Leo Terell to take and he walked off the show in disgust.
After Donald Trump’s victory, America was floored by how ignorant and bigoted a large percentage of their fellow citizens turned out to be. However, the Walter Scott decision represents a troubling reality about our criminal justice system that necessitates the need for groups like Black Lives Matter.
Because it’s crystal clear from this verdict that Black Lives don’t matter enough to all Americans.
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