NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The North Charleston police officer who fatally shot a 50-year-old man during a traffic stop on Saturday has been arrested and is being charged with murder.
North Charleston Patrolman First Class Michael Slager, 33, will face the charge in connection with the shooting death of Walter Scott.
That announcement came at a press conference late Tuesday afternoon from North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey who referred to a video someone recorded of the shooting Saturday morning.
The video had been sent to Scott’s family and the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division, Summey said.
Police say the video shows Slager shooting Scott as he was running away from the scene.
“The South Carolina Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened an investigation concurrent with the S.C. Law Enforcement Division and are providing aid as necessary to the state investigation,” read a statement by the Department of Justice.”The Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and the South Carolina U.S. Attorney’s Office will work with the FBI in the investigation. The Department of Justice will take appropriate action in light of the evidence and developments in the state case.”
“As a result of that video and bad decisions made by our officer, he will be charged with murder,” Summey said.
“It’s been a tragic day,” North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers said.
Driggers said the video shows Scott “taking off” and the officer shooting the suspect.
Summey called the video “very demonstrative” and said without the video, it would have been difficult to resolve the issue. Summey said the city is trying to meet with Scott’s family and will reach out to them any way they can.
Driggers said city leaders have been in contact with the family’s pastor and have been “an open book” with investigators.
Summey said Scott was hit with the officer’s Taser weapon, and they know that, Summey said, because one of the Taser projectiles was still attached.
“We would hope the community leaders in this community would rise up and quell” any backlash resulting from the announcement, Driggers said.
A South Carolina Law Enforcement Division document states Slager was booked at the Charleston County Detention Center, and the case will be prosecuted by the Ninth Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
Earlier in the day, the National Action Network, the NAACP and the Rainbow Coalition canceled a press conference that had been scheduled earlier in the afternoon.
Local National Action Network President Elder James Johnson said the reason for the cancellation was because of “breaking news” on the shooting, but would not elaborate on any developments. Johnson also said the family of Walter Scott requested the press conference be canceled.
Scott was shot and killed by a North Charleston police officer Saturday at approximately 9:30 a.m. following an attempted traffic stop in the area of Craig Street and Remount Road. According to NCPD reports released Monday, Slager was conducting a traffic stop of Scott’s car for a malfunctioning brake light.
Reports state Scott attempted to flee, resulting in a foot pursuit. Officer Slager then deployed his Taser weapon to detain the driver but was unsuccessful, a spokesperson for the police department said.
Police say an altercation then began between Slager and Scott resulting in a fight for the officer’s Taser. During the fight, Scott allegedly gained control of the Taser to use it against the officer who then fired his service weapon at the suspect.
Documents state two complaints were filed against Slager including an incident for using a taser on a suspect in 2013. Slager was cleared in that incident.
The shooting is under investigation by SLED.
Members of the NAACP, National Action Network and The Coalition (People United to Take Back Our Community) had planned to speak in front of North Charleston City Hall.
Walter Scott Shooting: Why You Must Always Question the Official Story
The mainstream media never questioned the false police version of the Walter Scott shooting until a video emerged showing North Charleston, S.C. police officer Michael T. Slager shooting Scott in the back five times.
The video, recorded by 23-year-old Feidin Santana, shows Slager firing the first of eight shots only after Scott had ran at least 10 feet away from the officer, but we never would have known that based on the news coverage of the shooting without the video.
Take a look at this article from the Charleston, S.C. ABC affiliate WCIV:
“Police and witnesses say Scott tried to run from Slager before turning to fight for the officer’s Taser,” WCIV’s Greg Woods reported. “It was during that scuffle that the officer fired his service weapon, fatally wounding Scott.”
That’s not what the video shows.
“Woods did not, in any of his reports, actually quote any witnesses saying they saw a ‘fight,’” media analyst Adam Johnson asked in his scathing report. “What appears to have happened is that Woods was told by police there were witnesses and he reported it, uncritically.”
The police also said “the dead man fought with an officer over his Taser before deadly force was employed,” a statement which was also refuted by the video.
“Police allege that during the struggle the man gained control of the Taser and attempted to use it against the officer,” The Post and Courier reported before the video was released. “The officer then resorted to his service weapon and shot him, police alleged.”
Lastly, take a look at this article from WCSC, which, like the others, was also published before the video.
“[NCPD spokesman Spencer] Pryor said Scott was fatally shot following a struggle for the officer’s Taser weapon,” the article reported.
This is exactly why you must question the official story of everything, from police shootings to the Boston Bombing and 9/11.