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Unbelievable! The video of this shooting is so shocking. And all this happened because of a broken tail light. The moment a white police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina shot a fleeing unarmed black man five times in the back then handcuffed his lifeless body after he crumpled on the ground has been captured on tape. The video, shot by a pedestrian, was sent to the New York Times.
Police officer Michael Slager, 33, opened fire on father-of-four Walter Scott, 50, on Saturday morning April 4th after stopping him over a broken tail light. The police officer was arrested yesterday April 7th after the video was seen by police. He had initially claimed he shot Scott because he feared for his life, but the video shows Scott actually fleeing from him. The officer shot 8 times, three missed Scott, a Coast Guard veteran. He has now been charged with murder. The video is quite shocking.
Keith Summey, the mayor of North Charleston, termed the killing a 'bad decision' at a press conference announcing the charges.
"When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. 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.'
On Monday, the police officer's lawyer issued a statement putting across Slager's version of events. He said the officer 'felt threatened and reached for his department-issued firearm and fired his weapon. "Officer Slager believes he followed all the proper procedures and policies of the North Charleston Police Department'.
But after seeing the shooting tape yesterday, the lawyer said he was no longer representing Slager.
Under South Carolina law, Slager could be eligible for the death penalty if convicted of murder.
A lawyer for the family said that the footage shows Slager 'casually' taking Scott's life, and acting as if there would be no repercussions.
Attorney L. Chris Stewart said: 'This was a cop who felt like he could get away with just shooting anybody that many times in the back... He just casually shot a man that many times in the back. At the moment he turned and ran and was not a threat to anybody else that officer was completely unjustified.'
Stewart said the family would also pursue civil charges against Slager.
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