Warning: Some may find the contents of this video disturbing.
A white police officer in South Carolina is facing murder charges after a video surfaced of him fatally shooting an unarmed black man. The cop shot the man eight times in the back during a traffic stop while a bystander secretly recorded the entire confrontation.
The graphic video posted above was obtained by The New York Times and clearly shows 33-year-old North Charleston cop Michael T. Slager chasing 50-year-old Walter Scott and shooting him in the back. The cop shot him seven times in a row from a safe distance and then paused before shooting one more bullet after which Scott fell down in a heap. The brutal incident occurred on Saturday, and Slager was charged with murder on Tuesday.
Police records show that the officer initially claimed that he felt endangered after Scott allegedly took his stun gun during their confrontation after a traffic stop over a broken taillight. However, the footage proves otherwise. In addition to killing an innocent man, Slager is also captured placing his Taser next to the victim’s dead body.
The video also depicts another police officer – who supposedly gave the victim CPR – at the scene, examining the deceased's back.
It all began when Slager reportedly pulled over Scott because of a broken taillight and Scott allegedly tried to flee because there were family court-issued warrants for his arrest. Scott had several warrants out for alleged negligence in paying child-support.
“I think through the process we have received the truth. We can't get my brother back, and my family is in deep mourning, but through the process, justice has been served,” said victim’s brother Anthony Scott in a televised press conference. “I don't think that all police officers are bad cops, but there are some bad ones out there. I don't want to see anyone get shot down the way my brother got shot down.”
If it weren’t for the anonymous man who captured the footage, Slager would have gone free.
“What happened today doesn’t happen all the time,” exclaimed L. Chris Stewart, one of the attorneys for Scott’s family. “What if there was no video? What if there was no witness – or hero as I call him – to come forward?”
Another family attorney Justin Bamberg called it “an example of what can happen when people are willing to step up and do the right thing for the right reasons.”
Walter Scott was father of four and had served two years in U.S. Coast Guards.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley also condemned the shooting and urged the residents to “work together to help our community heal.”
A hashtag for Walter Scott is also trending on Twitter. See some of the sad reactions below:
Black people serve in the U.S. Army to fight a "foreign enemy," only to be killed by cops sworn to protect them. #WalterScott— Terrell J. Starr (@Russian_Starr) April 8, 2015
If you run you're dead, if you comply you're dead. What am I supposed to tell my son? #WalterScott— J (@LoveOfaScorpio) April 8, 2015
If armed white cops feel threatened by unarmed black men, imagine how unarmed black men feel about armed white cops. #WalterScott— Ziggy Daddy™ (@Ziggy_Daddy) April 8, 2015
In the past few months, white cops have killed a number of black men and teens in various similar incidents of police brutality. However, this is one of the very few times that the guilty cop has been charged for the crime.