The New York Times just posted a horrifying video of a white North Charleston police officer named Michael T. Slager tussling with a black man named Walter Scott—then shooting him eight times in the back as he fled, then planting what appears to be a Taser by his prone body (to support the false statement he would report on his police radio soon afterwards, a blatant and egregious lie nullified by this video). From the Times:
The officer, Michael T. Slager, had said he feared for his life because the man took his stun gun in a scuffle after a traffic stop on Saturday. A video, however, shows the officer firing eight times as the man fled. The state charges were announced in a news conference Tuesday evening.
Slager also, according to the North Charleston Post and Courier, said that he shot because he “felt threatened.”
The video is graphic and shocking to watch, even after it’s been made clear in recent years that white cops in America face an enormous amount of impunity when it comes to their dominion over black bodies. Slager shoots Scott from a distance of 15-20 feet; he then tells Scott, prone on his face and dying, to put his hands behind his back. Scott’s limp hands are cuffed. The video was taken on Saturday. Scott is dead and Slager will be facing murder charges.
According to the Times, North Charleston’s population is 47 percent black; the police force is 80 percent white. More about the case here.
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