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Cop Shoots Fleeing Unarmed Black Man, Charged With Murder

Cop Shoots Fleeing Unarmed Black Man, Charged With Murder

Everything the Michael Brown case was not.

Last weekend a cop shot of a fleeing unarmed black man in Charleston, SC.  

Not all the facts are in, but the video (apparently captured by a cell phone) is damning; it shows the cop firing at the fleeing black man several times, finally bringing him to the ground.  There seems little indication that the fleeing man represented an imminent threat to anyone, much less the police officer. It also appears that the cop planted his Taser beside the man’s body.


ABC Breaking US News | US News Videos

The NY Times reports:

A white police officer in North Charleston, S.C., was charged with murder on Tuesday after a video surfaced showing him shooting in the back and killing an apparently unarmed black man while the man ran away.

The officer, Michael T. Slager, 33, said he had feared for his life because the man had taken his stun gun in a scuffle after a traffic stop on Saturday. A video, however, shows the officer firing eight times as the man, Walter L. Scott, 50, fled. The North Charleston mayor announced the state charges at a news conference Tuesday evening.

Here’s the full video:

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

That looks to me like the gears of the justice system and due process working properly to prosecute a bad cop (or at least a cop using very, very bad judgment).

[PHOTO: Michael Slager is seen in a booking photo released by the Charleston County Sheriff's office on April 7, 2015.]

[PHOTO: Michael Slager is seen in a booking photo released by the Charleston County Sheriff’s office on April 7, 2015.]

Unfortunately, the comparisons to the Michael Brown shooting have started. But the two appear to have nothing in common. After exhaustive investigation, including by the Justice Department, Darren Wilson was exonerated of accusations he used excessive force. All the forensics and the credible eyewitness testimony supported Wilson’s account of what happened.

In the Walter Scott killing, the video may be decisive, but even without the video the forensics should have proven the cop’s account was untrue, and that Scott was shot in the back from considerable distance. But that sort of analysis would have taken longer.

The local community appears to be acting calmly:

Pastor Thomas Dixon, a community activist, said that he is concerned about outsiders coming into the community to incite violence. He said the outcry of anger so often ends up “tearing down our communities,” and emotions should be diverted to something more constructive than violence.

“Good people get caught up with crazy people,” he said. “The smart reaction is to just gather and peacefully let your voice be heard without any foolishness or craziness.”

North Charleston Councilman Ron Brinson said the officer’s arrest was “sad, sad news” for the city.

“We need to do everything we can to remember this family,” he said, “to remember all of our policemen and make sure as a city that we can learn and move on.”

What comes next? Al Sharpton?

Naturally, we’ll cover the story here.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


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Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.

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Comments

a bad cop (or at least a cop using very, very bad judgment).
******************************************
nope. you had it right first.
if willing to do this there is for sure a history of other items. and each time these items were “explained” away.
had to dig through some MP (Army MP, VERY similar to civilian LEO) history on a few and nail bad MP myself.
the key is to be willing to listen to the evidence.

casualobserver | April 8, 2015 at 9:09 am

All the victim-culture needs is this event. Now for many in the press and especially on social media, every other accusation and all the protests about black lives matter is fully reinforced. Sort of like the UVA rape case. Because there are rapes on campus, and because fraternities have a boozy, testosterone filled reputation, every accusation becomes more valid. Ignore evidence.

Should this video be proven to be an accurate depiction, this cop should get the full sentence possible It needs to be a “learning event.” But even if it does, the victim-culture will not be satisfied with justice served where justice is deserved.

“What comes next? Al Sharpton?”

He may be drawn there, like a maggot is drawn to meat, but I think the locals will protect their people and community from him. He’s becoming a known factor, and people have seen Ferguson and New York. The local people don’t want any of that.

Plus, the authorities were on this in good fashion, and you can’t charge the LEO with more than murder.

Terrible. Glad to see the officer has already been charged with murder.

Sorry to see (or rather hear as I was leaving the house this morning) major networks referring to this as something like “Yet another example of a white cop shooting an unarmed black man.” Or something equally tendentious.

As if “unarmed” and “black” are the relevant facts, rather than, say, fleeing and harmless.

I’m really not looking forward to all the self-congratulatory nonsense when people claim that this shows the positive results of the Ferguson protests — that finally officials are taking it seriously when cops shoot unarmed black men.

CloseTheFed | April 8, 2015 at 9:42 am

@AndrewBranca

I’m not familiar with criminal law. What are the requirements to allow an officer to fire at a fleeing citizen, or in this case, a citizen with an outstanding warrant? I read he had an outstanding warrant. Can’t recall what for.

Thanks.

    Kondor77 in reply to CloseTheFed. | April 8, 2015 at 10:23 am

    From what I’ve heard (but not been able to find elsewhere), the outstanding warrant for his arrest was for being delinquent on his childcare payments. Certainly not a violent offense – or one requiring to be shot in the back several times.

    As has been said. Even without the video, the physical evidence (entry wounds to the back) distance/trajectory of wounds, would have been enough to nail this dirty cop. Hopefully he spends the rest of his life in solitary. Or if the judge has any sense of justice (or humor) throw him in with GenPop. Problem solved within the first week.

    Anonamom in reply to CloseTheFed. | April 8, 2015 at 11:46 am

    There will be some variations depending upon jurisdiction. Generally, they can shoot a fleeing felon or a person who presents an imminent danger to people.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Anonamom. | April 8, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      Actually from my limited understanding, even if the fleeing subject is a felon, they must present a clear and imminent danger before an officer may shoot them in the back.

      At one point years and years ago U.S. Marshall’s has “shoot on sight” authority for some felons but that hasn’t been so for a very long time.

        For sworn officers the standard is slightly broader than that for civilians, so it ALSO includes if a reasonable officer believes the suspect would be an immediate (broader than “imminent”) threat to other innocents. Imminence requires the danger exists RIGHT NOW. Immediate is broader, to include in the near future and otherwise unavoidable. Think if a fleeing felon who is armed and dangerous. If cop A on the scene doesn’t act to arrest the armed and dangerous felon and lets him simply run away, that just means that cop B arriving on the scene and the next one to encounter the armed and dangerous felon is going to have to use deadly force to arrest him.

        Non-LEOs, of course, do not have the same duty to enforce the law, so that broader standard would not apply to them.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    NavyMustang in reply to CloseTheFed. | April 11, 2015 at 6:13 am

    The way we were taught in the police academy was that if someone fleeing was an imminent danger to the officer or the public lethal force could be used.

    Our instructors asked us if we could shoot someone in the back as they fled if they had a gun and were believed to be a danger. More than a few said that we could not.

    Our instructors showed us how very easy it was for someone to simply turn and shoot the officer. Easy as pie.

    As a matter of fact, there was a case just like this in the DC area yesterday. Traffic stop, suspect flees, cop chases, suspect turns and shoots officer hitting him in the torso. Cop in critical condition, suspect nowhere to be found.

    In this SC case, however, the officer had no cause, absolutely none, to shoot this man. Even if he had the officer’s taser. The officer needed to run the suspect down and arrest. From what I saw, he wouldn’t have had that hard of a time doing that.

    This is all so very sad and unfortunately plays right into the hands of those who simply hate police and are convinced we just run around look for opportunities to kill black people. If you had access to police forums, you would see how pissed cops are at this guy.

Same advice applies here as in Ferguson. Watch carefully and wait for all the evidence to be gathered together before demanding “justice”. That said, the video appears to me to provide sufficient evidence for the charge. Whether the charge stands, or is even enlarged, after a thorough investigation is another matter entirely.

It just looked like the cop was lazy and didn’t want to chase the guy, so he shot him instead.

    Ragspierre in reply to windbag. | April 8, 2015 at 10:24 am

    …and/or the LEO was REALLY fond of his stun gun.

      MarkS in reply to Ragspierre. | April 8, 2015 at 11:11 am

      If he was so fond of his stun gun why, it appears, did he drop it next to the body and why did the other cop seem so blase’ about the planting of evidence?

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to Ragspierre. | April 8, 2015 at 11:20 am

      The cop had tried to use his taser on him, but the man knocked it out of his hand, and began running. The cop then chased him and fired with his gun.

      After successfully causing him to drop on the 8th try, (the coroner said five bullets him altogether) he handcuffed him and did nothing to check his condition.

      Then he went back to get his taser and dropped it by the man so he could claim the man was running away with his taser (which might be a felony and possibly justifying shooting at him)

      Other people came, but nobody tried any first aid or anything for along time. It might be the first person who came after the cop who shot him determined he was dead, and so did the third. A bullet, on fact, had entered his heart.

The media trying to inflame the situation is irresponsible. Let the courts handle this and move forward. It seems that they are doing exactly that in South Carolina.

Midwest Rhino | April 8, 2015 at 10:14 am

In Ferguson, Sharpton’s mob kept saying “all we want is a trial”, and Governor Nixon promised a “vigorous prosecution”. Wilson was persecuted but not ultimately “prosecuted”. (except by the media and Sharpton, who forced him out of his career and home)

So this case should not be a problem for Sharpton’s gang, as they have a murder charge. Of course the video really gave them no choice. If the guy has no rap sheet it will look even worse. Maybe in time we see patrol car video that includes audio, to see how this escalated, and if the guy really grabbed the Taser.

That would not change the murder charge but would make a difference to the Sharpton audience, if it was the victim that initiated confrontation, and he had some violent record.

One thing from a wider perspective, the Obama/Holder/Sharpton divisive attacks on police in general, raises the baseline tension level in every confrontation, for both sides. Still no excuse for this, but humans break.

Very interesting that this case makes the national news when the March 2015 indictment of a white female police officer for criminal homicide for shooting a tased white suspect in the back does not. Agenda journalism anyone? http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2015/03/video_from_taser_shows_unarmed.html

    m1 in reply to rfy. | April 8, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Cmon. You know she’s the Sandra Fluke of law enforcement. A victim of the “War on Women” cops .snicker/sarc alert

It’s a good thing Slager is behind bars after being arrested and charged with murder. Let this be the catalyst to end the historic act of letting white cops getting away with killing unarmed non threatening black people. I also want to applaud Senator Tim Scott for defending this victim and supporting the victim’s family.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to m1. | April 8, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    “end the historic act of letting white cops getting away with killing unarmed non threatening black people.”

    And when, pray tell, when has that happened? It certainly didn’t happen here.

    genes in reply to m1. | April 8, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    South Carolina convicted a white cop last year for killing an unarmed black man. A white state trooper was fired and has been charged with aggravated assault after he shot an unarmed black man. Media just doesn’t like reporting it because it doesn’t make the South look racist or help stir up hate.

    Let this be the catalyst to end the historic act of letting white cops getting away with killing unarmed non threatening black people.

    Let this be the catalyst to end the historic act of letting white cops getting away with killing unarmed non threatening black people.

    Fixed that for you.

The Old Crusader | April 8, 2015 at 10:49 am

I don’t think this one will have the legs of Mike or Trayvon.

The reason being that it is a clear case of wrongdoing on the part of the police. It is a cousin to the “Loud Music” case for civilians.

The real purpose of these exercises is to discourage the PROPER use of deadly force. In other words, scare the bejeepers out of people about what will happen even when they are justified.

This case and Loud Music don’t further that goal.

(I don’t claim this as an original idea – I read something along these lines about Mike Brown somewhere, but I don’t remember where. But I really think it is true.)

    I don’t think Al or Jesse care about whether the case has “legs” TOC, they want the money from donations.
    I really don’t believe for a minute either cares one whit about any of their people who aren’t giving money.

OmegaPaladin | April 8, 2015 at 11:00 am

Here’s a question for our resident lawyers:

Is the cop’s story a valid justification for the use of force, even assuming he is telling the truth? I mean, a taser is non-lethal and short-ranged. It also is single-shot, so if the officer had already used the taser it would be unable to be used against him.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to OmegaPaladin. | April 8, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    I am not a lawyer, resident or otherwise, but I do have a certain amount of hands-on experience with this kind of thing.

    The officer’s story, if you mean the one where the decedent got or grabbed [I’ve heard both today] the taser in the course of the scuffle, before fleeing is not justification for use of deadly force.

    The general rule is that one must fear for their life or fear receiving grave bodily injury before deadly force is justified. A taser is by definition non-lethal. One might try to make the case that had he taken control of the taser, and it had a live cartridge in it, he could have incapacitated the officer thus making the officers sidearm available to him to do with as he pleased.

    This obviously did not happen. So when the scuffle ended with the taser being dropped and the subject running away, the need for the officer to defend himself was done.

    There has been nothing that has come to light indicating that the subject, Mr. Scott, would have endangered the general public had he been allowed to run free and continue his crime of not supporting his children.

    Only a scenario where they fought over control of the officer’s sidearm would give support to a need to apply deadly force.

    Maybe some of the lawyers can give us the fancy Latin phrases for all this. 🙂

    PS– get a copy of Andrew’s book. All will be revealed.

      kermitrulez in reply to amatuerwrangler. | April 8, 2015 at 11:16 pm

      The Taser is a debilitating weapon. If employed against an officer, it would render the officer unable to defend him or herself. Even after the barbs are shot, the aggressor can close the gap and employ the taser through contact for as long as the taser has battery left. At any time during this employment, the aggressor can relieve the officer of his sidearm and use it to kill the officer with absolutely nothing the officer can do about it.

      Now in this case, the man was fleeing without possession of the taser at the time of the shooting. Even had the man had the taser, regardless of whether the officer thought he had the taser, he was beyond the deployment range as he was fleeing. To me, the real question is not if a charge is warranted, but what charge?

        healthguyfsu in reply to kermitrulez. | April 9, 2015 at 2:20 pm

        Not sure why this response got 2 downvotes. I guess some of those cognitive dissonants I mentioned didn’t have enough cognizance left to read 2 coherent paragraphs.

        That’s the key, I see many people getting tripped up on this.

        A Taser in the hands of an officer using it lawfully is a non-deadly weapon, because the officer will stop using when the suspect complies and/or the arrest has been secured.

        An unlawful aggressor using a Taser is NOT engaged in merely non-deadly force, because he is debilitating his victim to the point where the victim can no longer defend himself, and no victim is required to allow himself to be rendered defenseless against an unlawful aggressor.

        It’s not the nature of the instrument that controls the analysis, but who is wielding the instrument and to what end.

        If an aggressive suspect is stripping a police officer who is acting lawfully of his Taser, I would urge the officer to shoot the suspect off the Taser, post haste.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    ThomasD in reply to OmegaPaladin. | April 8, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    IANAL either.

    Tasers come in a two shot version. But even so, and accepting that Scott was in possession of such a device when Slager fired, Scott was running away from the cop, and was probably out of the effective range of the taser at the time the cop was shooting.

    Relocating the device is tampering with a crime scene. That alone should render anything Slager said about the incident suspect, if not an outright lie.

    My suspicion is that Scott knew he was getting pinched for the back child support and attempted to flee, at which point the cop tried the taser, and when that failed he escalated to his next available weapon.

My first question would be – what was the object on the ground at the scene and how did it get there? If it’s the taser, then did Scott take it from Slagel, or did Slagel thow the taser on the ground and tell the guy — you took my taser and I’m going to shoot you now? Unfortunately the video doesn’t show that part. I think the officer moving the taser next to the body shows consciousness of guilt. I’d convict based on this video. Also, that black cop – second on the scene — saw Slagel drop the taser — where’s his report? He should be charged as an accessory if he didn’t report it.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to BrokeGopher. | April 8, 2015 at 11:30 am

    From the New York Times story:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/08/us/south-carolina-officer-is-charged-with-murder-in-black-mans-death.html?_r=0

    The video begins in the vacant lot, apparently moments after Officer Slager fired his Taser. Wires, which carry the electrical current from the stun gun, appear to be extending from Mr. Scott’s body as the two men tussle and Mr. Scott turns to run.

    Something — it is not clear whether it is the stun gun — is either tossed or knocked to the ground behind the two men, and Officer Slager draws his gun, the video shows. When the officer fires, Mr. Scott appears to be 15 to 20 feet away and fleeing. He falls after the last of eight shots.

    The officer then runs back toward where the initial scuffle occurred and picks something up off the ground.

    Moments later, he drops an object near Mr. Scott’s body, the video shows.

    Elsewhere and earlier in the article it says:

    The shooting unfolded after Officer Slager stopped the driver of a Mercedes-Benz with a broken taillight, according to police reports. Mr. Scott ran away, and Officer Slager chased him into a grassy lot that abuts a muffler shop. He fired his Taser, an electronic stun gun, but it did not stop Mr. Scott, according to police reports.

    Moments after the struggle, Officer Slager reported on his radio: “Shots fired and the subject is down. He took my Taser,” according to police reports.

Henry Hawkins | April 8, 2015 at 11:32 am

Unarmed guy who likely knows he has a bench warrant out for back child support gets stopped for a brake light issue, runs, gets a clip emptied into his back at 50 feet, and his body gets dusted with ‘stolen’ police equipment, a spent taser, all of it recorded by a witness in full view.

Does SC have the death penalty? Whether it’s for murdering this guy or for being incredibly stupid, this guy needs to burn.

—–

Atty Question:

As always, assuming we have all the salient facts, does this constitute first degree (premeditation)?

    I suspect that murderous little piggy might consider himself better off with 1st and the death penalty than 2nd and a life in prison.

    Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 8, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    You always have to refer to the case law on “premeditation” in the specific jurisdiction.

    Some allow you to “premeditate” in a heartbeat, which I’ve never felt comfortable with. To me, it means cold-blooded, deliberate planning, which justifies the heightened nature of the offense.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | April 8, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      Hey, Rags maybe you are Andrew can answer this question. What is the difference between “premeditation” for murder and Conspiracy to commit murder?

      I know its a bit off topic but, just curious.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to Gremlin1974. | April 8, 2015 at 6:28 pm

        A non-lawyerly logical reduction would say conspiracy requires at least two participants, while premeditation requires but one.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 8, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Henry if you read the NYT summary above, apparently the taser was dropped during the sturggle. The cop cop then moved the taser later to give him more credibility.

    In that case, technically the taser wasn’t planted.

      Char Char Binks in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | April 8, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      The cops is shown in the video planting the taser near the body.

        MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Char Char Binks. | April 8, 2015 at 2:05 pm

        God what an idiot!
        No the video does not show the cop “planting” the taser.

        What it does show, is the cop and guy struggling with the “thing” at his feet. We see the guy run and the cop shoot. We see the cop walk over to the “thing” pick it up and placing it near the body.

        That thing is probably the taser, but it has not been determined to be so conclusively.

        It is tampering wioth evidence yes, planting no.

          Char Char Binks in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | April 8, 2015 at 2:39 pm

          A distinction without a difference.

          Henry Hawkins in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | April 8, 2015 at 2:42 pm

          I’ll counter that with an equally sustainable assertion – maybe this citizen is just PRETENDING to be dead, playing possum as it were?

          Sammy Finkelman in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | April 8, 2015 at 3:08 pm

          If all you knew was the video, you’d have no way of determining the person was dead, or even shot for sure.

          We can say that, and that this video is indeed of the incident in question, and not some other shooting by some other cop at some other place on some other day, based on information that comes from outside of the video.

          The New York Times says the video came from the family. The chief of police appears to believe in the authenticity of the video (multiple sources)

          Authenticating the video and some other facts is one of those things that are essential for something to be entered into evidence, but usually is not in dispute.

          “It is tampering wioth evidence yes, planting no.”

          Scott either being in possession of the taser or not, at the time he was shot, is not some immaterial fact.

          By relocating the device to a point in close proximity to the place Scott fell Slager creates the strong impression that Scott was in possession of the taser when Slager fired his pistol; a situation strongly at odds with what actually occurrs on the video.

          You may not want to call it ‘planting’ evidence, but it certainly is manufacturing evidence.

          Henry Hawkins in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | April 9, 2015 at 12:42 pm

          It has forever been a part of at least urban law enforcement that simply worried or actually corrupt officers keep a ‘drop weapon’ on hand in case something goes sideways and an officer realizes he just made a bad shoot, something that can happen to any officer in the heat of the moment. Also called a ‘flake weapon’. It’s considered an insurance policy of sorts. I have no idea how widespread this is nowadays.

          healthguyfsu in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | April 9, 2015 at 2:24 pm

          Ahhhh the good old criminal statute of “planting evidence” that couldn’t fall under the “tampering with evidence” statute now could it???

          This one’s special.

          Mouse. No matter how much you want every white cop who kills a black dude to be a hero, it just ain’t so. This one’s dirty.

          MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | April 9, 2015 at 7:29 pm

          @ThomasD

          Whether the cop tampered with evidence or planted evidence is in itself material. Both are crimes.

          The relevant point though is that it is not important whether or not Scott had the taser. What is important is if the cop believed that Scott had the taser.

          So if the cop and Scott scuffle and it winds up the cop doesn’t have the taser any more and believes that Scott does. That would legally be the same situation as if Scott had the taser.

          This is similar to the situation recently where several cops go into a scuffle with some guy and shot him when they thought he took one of their guns. IIRC later it turned out that the gun got knocked away and the cop only thought the guy took the gun.

          Remember though that whatever he did with the taser, the cop did apparently commit a crime. It just changes the mindset of the cop.

    Edgehopper in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 8, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I wonder if, in death penalty states, we could get popular support behind a law that falsifying a police report, planting evidence, committing perjury, or any other attempt to obstruct justice through fraud by a police officer is one of the aggravating factors that would convert murder 2 to murder 1? It certainly would be justified.

    Of course, deliberate falsification of evidence by any police officer should be a felony resulting in jail time, loss of job, and loss of pension, but good luck getting it prosecuted.

    Sure, this could be deemed a premeditated killing. Premeditated killing merely means the killer rationally formed the intent to inflict death or grave bodily harm (and the victim died). The formation of that intent can happen in an instant, and often does. Premeditation does NOT require prior planning, gathering of instruments of death, etc.

    In this case I think the resisting arrest, attempt to strip the officer of his Taser moments before (which IS a deadly force attack upon the officer, one that was however well resolved before the officer engaged the victim with deadly force) could reasonably constitute provocation of the sort that mitigates murder to manslaughter.

    Need more facts and to hear what story the cop comes up with before I can make a better assessment of that.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Andrew Branca. | April 9, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      Well one more tidbit TCTH is showing a CNN copy of the dashcam video ,

      It doesn’t change much, but if I were the cop walking back to the squad car to run his license/plates, I would seriously be thinking that he may have stole the car.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Andrew Branca. | April 9, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      While it would rule out self-defense, does it rule justifiable use of force by a police officer. From what I understand of Garner, an officer is justified in shoot if the suspect posses a possible danger to others. But it does not say imminent danger. [1]

      I think an example from another forum might help illustrate. A cop is called to the scene of a violent rape. When he gets there the actual was just finished. The suspect has a knife which he drops to the ground then goes running away. Is the cop justified in shooting him?

      I would argue that having violently raped one, he is likely to do it again and thus under Garner is a “potential danger”.

      [1] My understanding too, is that “being a danger” is not a bright line. That cops are justified in using force when a “person is a danger” but it does not exclude all other situations.

Sammy Finkelman | April 8, 2015 at 11:40 am

Chris Stewart, lawyer for Walter Scott’s family:

“…He had back child support and didn’t want to go to jail for back child support.”

It occurs to me this running away would only have worked if he didn’t own the car he was driving, and the owner didn’t out him.

He was abandoning a car with license plates, I presume.

While the police hadn’t gone to arrest him for a routine bench warrant for failing to show up for court hearings about child support, the chances were much higher they would do so for assaulting a cop to prevent himself from being tasered, or at least resisting arrest, which were kind of more serious charges..

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | April 8, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Maybe running away wold have worked if he owned the car, and maybe even better than if he didn’t.

    He could claim his car had been stolen. It might be hard to prove it was really him.

    But they’d still go to him about the car, and maybe discover he had failed to attend court hearings.

    But perhaps he’d stay out of jail that way.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | April 8, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      Sammy, the car is irrelevant. During a traffic stop it is routine to identify the driver, at which point the bench warrant would be revealed.

      Take your meds, clean out the garage, then do your homework.

        Sammy Finkelman in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 8, 2015 at 3:51 pm

        I had the thought after I left that comment that the resistance maybe (or probably) came after he had identified himself, and he did not know or think before that the cop would want to arrest him right then.

        But in that case, what had he to gain by fleeing? They had his car, and they had the address on his driver’s license. Maybe he wasn’t living there any more.

        Or maybe he was just in a panic. Was he just trying to postpone things, or ws it bad day to go to jail – a day when court wasn’
        t in session??

          Henry Hawkins in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | April 8, 2015 at 4:17 pm

          Sammy: “But in that case, what had he to gain by fleeing?”

          I’ll go out on a limb and suggest he fled in hopes of escaping? Naw, crazy talk that.

          “They had his car, and they had the address on his driver’s license. Maybe he wasn’t living there any more.”

          Irrelevant at the moment of the stop. The officer had a bench warrant, probably on his unit computer, or given verbally over radio or phone. If the victim gave his real name or it was otherwise ascertained by the officer, the bench warrant moves into first place over the traffic stop. The officer would effect an arrest or try to. Anything car or home related is irrelevant in the field at this point.

          “Or maybe he was just in a panic. Was he just trying to postpone things, or ws it bad day to go to jail – a day when court wasn’t in session??”

          Running from police to avoid imminent arrest is always a panic move. Please describe a good day to go to jail. I suspect the victim didn’t have enough time to wonder whether local court was in session. If you’re talking about him scared he couldn’t bail out real quick, most jurisdictions have judges or magistrates available 24/7.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | April 8, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    How does the lawyer know what the suspect was thinking? Did they hold a seance?

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | April 8, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      The family lawyer gave the most logical reason he would have fled – he faced arrest for not attending court hearings and not paying child support.

MouseTheLuckyDog | April 8, 2015 at 12:03 pm

To get the complete picture we need to wait for the other shoe to drop. However it is hard to see how this cop can avoid absolute guilt.

Assuming facts as favorable to the cops as possible, he might have a reason for shooting the fleeing suspect if he had the cop’s taser. The suspect is still a danger, but not an imminent danger to the cop.

So I would expect the cop at least to be more cautious in firing the weapon. Generally it’s not recommended that police shoot one shot at a time, but this does seem to be a situation where one shot, evaluate, next shot is called for.

( As a note in the olden days of dragnet/hawaii-5-0/adam-12 etc. that the shooting would have been OK. Of course that is the old days. )

Something that does impress me is that there are two videos. One of the cop shooting the guy, and the second of the cop dropping the object.Why did the recorder stop?

After seeing the riots and microriots in Ferguson, these recorders tend to manage their recordings to show things in the best/worst possible light depending on how they want to record things.

Could the suspect have dropped the taser while running? Then the cop seeing it far from the suspect decide to move it closer to “enhance the evidence”?

Also even if the shooting is unjustified, the guy was not exactly a model suspect. He fought with the cop, then he ran. He didn’t stop or anything.

I feel more sympathy for Bobby Canipe, the guy shot reaching for a cane, then I do this guy. Even though that shooting was justified.

    Training nowadays is not ‘one shot, then evaluate’ it is keep shooting until your targets stops doing what it is you want him to stop doing, ie. he drops and goes limp.

    Which is exactly what the cop did. The longest pause was before the last shot, when it appears Slager was uncertain and Scott was beginning to crumple.

    I suspect this is also the shot that struck Scott in his ear – all the rest were in the torso region. Again consistent with modern training – shots to center mass. It was only as Scott abruptly fell that his head dropped into the area of aim.

      If “modern training” tells cops to empty their guns into the backs of unarmed citizens whose only “crimes” are broken tail lights and being behind on child support payments, “modern training” needs an overhaul.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to ThomasD. | April 9, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      But is that proper procedure for a guy who is not an imminent threat, but someone who is fleeing and a possible danger to others?

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | April 9, 2015 at 2:36 am

    If Officer Slager had let Walter Scott escape, he would not have been able to hide that fact – there’s the vehicle, for one thing – and admitting he had lost the taser would, however much trouble he would get into for that, actually have been a mitigating factor.

    But if he shot him, he’d have a good possibility of covering up any errors or faults in his policing, especially if he killed him.

    I feel more sympathy for Bobby Canipe, the guy shot reaching for a cane, then I do this guy.

    Why would that be?

darkknight3565 | April 8, 2015 at 12:18 pm

It would be interesting to know how many people would be calling Michael T. Slager a hero today if the incident was not captured on video.

    We residents of the real world would be very skeptical of any man, police or not, claiming to have shot a man to death out of a belief that loss of a Taser constitutes being in fear for your life.

      clintack in reply to JBourque. | April 8, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      Hard to know what the cop’s story would be sans video.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to clintack. | April 8, 2015 at 5:58 pm

        The problem is gonna be in that all the shots hit the guy in the back from considerable distance. A fact that is bound to come out, this video just makes it easier.

        healthguyfsu in reply to clintack. | April 9, 2015 at 2:29 pm

        Actually, it’s not hard at all. His story was already crafted without knowledge of the video…it’s why he radio’d in that the man had taken his taser.

          Yeah, he lied his face off until the video surfaced. And he might well have got away with it, if there hadn’t been video.

          No wonder some cops don’t take kindly to the fact that it’s every citizen’s right to film the police.

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to JBourque. | April 9, 2015 at 2:29 am

      The loss of his taser probably caused the cop to shoot him, but it wasn’t because of any fear for his life if he did nothing – it was fear of the consequences to him in his job.

      A cop is not supposed to lose his taser. And it’s not good either for him to let someone escape. He’s get reprimanded, or get a poor evaluation or something.

      Slager was probably afraid to fight him physically, because, after all, he had already tried that and lost, and you could even say he was afraid that if he did fight him, the man would grab his gun and kill him.

      While he’s also not supposed to shoot someone who is not a danger, the cop probably felt, from his point of view, he was in a no-win situation.

      It was either:

      A) Let the man escape, and lose vacation time or get assigned to extra boring hours of retraining or something (because he would be judged incompetent.)

      B) Try to tackle him (probably what he was supposed to do) which risked the possibility that the man would grab his gun, or hurt him in some way, or more likely, because he would be able to and needed to protect himself, have the man escape anyway and we’re back to choice A, except he had to take the added risk of death or injury.

      C) Fire at him, and try to tell a different story than the truth, and count on other cops and the “blue wall of silence” to protect him.

      He chose C.

        healthguyfsu in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | April 9, 2015 at 2:32 pm

        Now, you’re just completely making crap up. Provide any source that shows a suspect escaping leads to benefits penalties such as loss of vacation time.

        I guarantee you that would never fly with the police union.

        This guy is a murderer…not some trapped little kitteh.

        That said, the dead guy is a total idiot. He’d never even be in a position to get shot if he had half a brain and a decent sense of paternal responsibility to add to it.

    Char Char Binks in reply to darkknight3565. | April 8, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    If things were different, they wouldn’t be the same. Are you criticizing people for believing in someone’s guilt without evidence?

Henry Hawkins | April 8, 2015 at 12:53 pm

I’ll bet $5 that thousands of Walter Scott tee shirts have already been printed.

This man’s death is deeply lamentable, a sad, sad thing, of course. But.. this event comes out as exactly what the race industry *tried* to make out of the Michael Brown and other cases. Here it’s actually true.

Prepare for 360/24/7/All Channels/All Blogs/Everybody To The Front! coverage within… by dinner time.

There are two dialogues going on here. 1)Was the cop justified in using deadly force against this person and 2)if not did he do it because the person was black.

While it might be true that the use of deadly force was unwarranted it is not necessarily true that it was due to the persons race. However the race of the person will be the primary focus, not the justification for use of deadly force.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Anchovy. | April 8, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    There you go. If it were me or you who got shot, we’d get a paragraph on page 17. In the media, race will overrule every other consideration.

      CloseTheFed in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 8, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      Yes, like that poor white boy, 17 years old, I think a senior in high school, shot by a white female police officer when he answered the door TO HIS HOME. Shot dead. In Euharlee, Georgia. Valentine’s Day evening, 2014.

      No protests for Christopher Roupe. Utterly sickening.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | April 8, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    I have to wonder what Rags has to say.

    If I were Slater, I would be filing a formal complaint to the local bar about this guy. If a lawyer wants to drop me, fine, but then don’t give a self-serving interview about it.

    The obvious inference is that, upon viewing the video, the attorney became abundantly aware that his client was lying to him.

    IANAL, but as far as I know that is a ‘get out of representation free card.’

I assume cops get to play by different rules, but are there any circumstances in which we mere mortals could justifiably shoot a fleeing person in the back at the distance shown in this video? IMO, if the situation doesn’t warrant civilians using deadly force then it shouldn’t permit the police to.

    Twanger in reply to MarkS. | April 8, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    I have to disagree.

    There are a number of cases where a civilian cannot legally use deadly force but a cop surely can. Depends on the state.

    Consider the case of an insane murder suspect with a gun, having killed someone and now running away with a cop in hot pursuit. This person is an immediate threat to everyone.

    If the cop lets him go and he murders someone else all you’ll hear on the nightly news is that “The cop should have stopped him when he could!”

    If the cop shoots him in the back, is it murder? Not in many jurisdictions.

    In Maryland if I (Joe citizen) am approached by a man wielding a knife or gun I am obliged to run away if I can. “Duty to retreat” state. Now consider that same man approaching an armed cop wielding a knife or gun. Is the cop obliged to run away or arrest the man for assault with a deadly weapon?

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Twanger. | April 8, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      Cops actually are paid to do the opposite of retreat, and yes a guy who comes at a cop with a knife should expect to have his lead and copper levels raised in the near future.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to MarkS. | April 8, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    In other words, you do not believe that cops should have the right to arrest people, since most arrests require some amount of force not legal for regular citizens.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to MarkS. | April 8, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Actually in most places police operate under the exact same self defense statutes that civilians do, with some notable exceptions. Police officers are rarely compelled to retreat before resorting to deadly force and they are generally considered to be the innocent party, except in circumstances like the case at hand. As far as imminence, proportionality, and reasonableness a LEO would still have to meet these requirements.

    healthguyfsu in reply to MarkS. | April 9, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    No comment, because this comment could be used to incriminate if the certain situation ever arose.

I have a scenario that I hope is not correct.

The dead man had a “history” of being jailed for unpaid child support. I’m speculating that this cop ran his license plate (a legal search), then ran the registered owner’s name (an illegal search), it popped up as (1) a suspended license for unpaid child support or (2) a bench warrant for unpaid child support.

When he pulled him over for a broken tail light, the cop already knew he was going to arrest him AND that he had a warrant to back him up. What he didn’t have was probable cause to have run his name before he stopped him. If that taillight is working, then we know he didn’t have any probable cause for the stop either.

When they dead man was told you’re under arrest for child support, he had had enough of them jailing him for being poor and he struggled. The cop pulled his taser and after discharging it – dropped it DELIBERATELY (that’s why both of them looked at it on the ground). All of this smelled bad to the victim and he decided to flee because HE KNEW A COP WOULDN’T SHOOT HIM IN THE BACK and he stood a good chance of getting away.

He thought the cop was setting him up for an ass whupping. He had no idea that this cop would shoot him.

I wonder what was said between the two of them before the guy decided to run.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to platypus. | April 8, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Platypus– How about some documentation to support the claim that running the registered owner’s name was an illegal search.

    What you described is a pretty standard practice. Also be aware that many jurisdictions will include, if it is known, the identifying information of the vehicle associated with the subject of the warrant; the running of just the license plate will reveal the warrant.

    Stopping a vehicle that shows active warrants linked to its license plate is a lawful stop. No pretext vehicle code violation, moving or equipment, is needed.

    I base this on information and practice on the other side of the continent from where this instant event occurred, so local rules may vary. But I doubt it…

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to platypus. | April 9, 2015 at 11:22 am

    The dead man’s brothers said he didn’t think he had a broken taillight because he was always being very careful everything was in order because he didn’t want to be stopped. (and that would probably be because of the outstanding warrants against him)

    When he initially got stopped, he called his mother to let her know, a sign that he suspected he would get arrested.

    Now the taillight could have broken just then.

    If not, we have the question was the taillight indeed broken, and if so, did any policeman break it after the fact?

    If the policeman knew he was wanted and pretended to see a problem with a taillight, that would mean he was very interested in getting commendations and the like, and very interested in not having someone escape.

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | April 9, 2015 at 11:27 am

      That should be “brother” not “brothers.”

      There were lies in the police reports. There was the claim that several different people administered CPR, and none of that happened.

      One of the policemen on the scene was black, so this not a racial matter, aside from the fact that someone black might be judged to have had more run=ins with the law, but the key fact there that would have been a tipoff that there might be something in his background that would render a story that he resisted violently more plausible was simply that Scott struggled with him and ran away.

        Sammy Finkelman in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | April 11, 2015 at 9:46 pm

        There were actually at least two brothers. The one most active is his older brotehr, Anthony, but there is another called Arthur, who had some dabetic crisis on Thursday.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | April 9, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      The dead man’s brother also said he didn’t think he would resist arrest but he was doing something he wasn’t supposed to when the video started that much was clear.

      It did not warrant being shot in the back, but it was very stupid.

        Sammy Finkelman in reply to healthguyfsu. | April 9, 2015 at 6:58 pm

        The police released the dashcam video. The picture gets clearer. It doesn’t help the cop, though.

        The car indeed had a brake light that was out. And when he fled, Walter Scott had not yet shown his driver’s license. The car was not in his name. So the escape would have been successful. had he got clean away.

        Walter Scott stumbles on his story that he tlls to the cop, and is probably lying. He is driving, but there is a passenger in the car – nobody seems to know what happened to him or who he is.

        Walter Scott first says he bought the car and then that he didn’t yet, since apparently he thinks that version will be more likely keep him out of trouble.

        When the cop goes off to look up some information (on the car?) Walter Scott, gets out of the car, 27 seconds into the video. Slager tells him he needs him to stay in the car. 16 seconds later, if I understood the CBS Evening News report right, Scott makes a break for it and begins running.

        The video doesn’t show what happens next, but the cell phone video picks up after Slager has used his taser, unsuccessfully.

        amatuerwrangler in reply to healthguyfsu. | April 10, 2015 at 1:01 am

        Sammy sometimes takes off on tangents of fantasy….

        I find it interesting that this “brother” tells how the brake light story is bunk as Mr. Scott is very careful about keeping his car up to snuff, yada yada…. and then the dash-cam video shows Mr. Scott giving 3 or 4 different stories about hows the car is not his, and a malfunctioning rear light. So much for another lying witness.

        And mentioned elsewhere I think, the guy owns or is buying a Mercedes sedan while not paying child support. And the family explains that he ran because of the warrant…he didn’t want to go BACK to jail. Witness (non-witness?) credibility again raises its ugly head.

        But all this does not justify shooting someone in the back as they flee.

    Char Char Binks in reply to platypus. | April 9, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    He also had a history of assault and battery, and he drove a MERCEDES, but couldn’t, or wouldn’t pay child support for his FOUR CHILDREN. I’m not saying he deserved to get shot, but he was a sack of sick.

      He also had a history of assault and battery

      The only accusation of violence against Scott during his lifetime was one (1) assault and battery charge (no idea if he was even found guilty), twenty-eight years ago, in 1987.

      Everything else was just due to back child support, and in this country, owing back child support is not grounds for summary execution.

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to Char Char Binks. | April 13, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      He was paying down the child support.

      He had been interviewed by a newspaper 12 years before.

      In today’s New York Post:

      http://nypost.com/2015/04/13/walter-scott-enrolled-in-program-to-help-support-his-kids/

      When I interviewed Walter Scott for a story about deadbeat dads in 2003, he talked about his struggle to support his kids —…

      When I first met Scott in Charleston, it was to talk about Father to Father, a program he enrolled in after being locked up for failing to make child support payments.

      Scott didn’t stand to get a reduction in those payments by agreeing to talk to me. Outing himself as a deadbeat wasn’t going to help his public image, either.

      The most he could hope for was that other dads struggling to make payments would learn about the program, which aimed to help them.

      Scott told me at the time that after he initially got pinched, “I said, ‘Man, you got four kids depending on you, and you got people in your life that love you. You got to get it together.’…

      ….He told me he was so overwhelmed with not being able to hold down a job and make the payments that he withdrew from his children and turned to booze to kill the pain.

      His mother, whom he tried to call before running from the cop nine days ago, set him straight for a spell, telling him that his kids missed him.

      “That just broke my heart,” he told me. “It helped me come to my senses.” …

        Sammy Finkelman in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | April 13, 2015 at 1:42 pm

        See also:

        http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/TheBattery/archives/2015/04/13/walter-scott-attended-program-for-dads-who-are-behind-on-child-support-payment

        The reporter from the Charleston paper evidently talked to several people there so his involvement there is probably real.

        Here somebody says (without checking records) that Walter Scott entered the program in 2007 or 2008, not 2003, like the reporter whose story is printed in the New York Post says. But people telescope things in recollection. Maybe he re-enrolled a second time.

        Or maybe he’s lying.

        That’s John Singletary, who is now running for mayor, and claims to have become a friend to Walter Scott, and (don’t know the proof) for a period of time was the employment coordinator for the Father to Father Project, which the reporter describes as a program that aims to help dads reconnect with their children and catch up on child support payments, with some men being sent there by court order.

        Singletary says he got him a job in home construction (Walter Scott was, most recently a forklift operator) but says that when he last met him two weeks ago at a gas station (he says, and he says they talked for 20 minutes) he was in financial trouble again because he had lost his job – a job he had gotten after the one Singletary found for him – and was behind again in his child support payments.

        Actually Singletary says ” I think he’d lost a job so he’s not saying Scott actually told him that, or that he was falling behind in his child support payments because that also seems to be a guess.

        And the idea that Walter Scott was in financial trouble is contradicted by a story I saw in the New York Times.

          Sammy Finkelman in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | April 13, 2015 at 2:09 pm

          I mean, he had just gotten engaged (but who knows, maybe the lawyer convinced people to say that so she could collect more money.)

          This thing here is from the Associated Press: (but I think ran in the paper)

          http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/04/12/us/ap-us-police-officer-fatal-shooting.html

          Despite two failed marriages, he was planning to tie the knot a third time. Scott had been dating Charlotte Jones for about five years. They got engaged about a week before he was killed.

          This doesn’t usually happen right in the midst of financial difficulty.

          It says here that he bought the car, which was a nearly 25-year-old Mercedes-Benz sedan (1991 or 1992 model year?) from a neighbor, (does anyone know for sure what the story is with that car?) and that he knew the car needed to be fixed but he bought it because his van would break down on his way to work, which was a job as a forklift operator in distribution warehouse, so it sounds like he still had it, and he got into the car early that Saturday morning, picked up a friend from work, (yet the family has no idea who that person is?) and was headed to an auto-parts store a few miles away.

          So we can say that even if he is careful about not driving in a car with violations, there’s this interval while the car needs to be fixed, and you have to get it to the auto parts store to fix it. It’s not totally unreasonable.

          They say he called his girlfriend and said he would be finished soon, and then later, he called his mother, saying he’s being stopped by police (using a cell phone while driving is not illegal in South Carolina, only texting is) but apparently NOT saying that he thinks he’s going to be arrested, so, most likely, at that point he doesn’t think so.

          He does not expect to get asked about registration and insurance, and when he does, he thinks it’s a terrible problem.

My concerns are that some of the media outlets will obsess over this for the next three months which really does nothing but antagonize and anger black people causing them to want to retribution toward whites. More importantly, it will breed all the race baitors out there (and we don’t need that because there is no proof of that officer being racist.)

Did the officer use poor judgement and perhaps overreact? Yes. Is this a racial issue – likely not.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to heyjoojoo. | April 8, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Let me be clear I am not saying that there was a racial motive to this shooting, but I do think it is to early and we have to little information to say that it isn’t a possibility. I can not conceve why this cop would shoot someone in the fashion that he did, ti is every unlikely even without the video that he would have gotten away with it.

      heyjoojoo in reply to Gremlin1974. | April 8, 2015 at 7:15 pm

      Well, it is perfectly conceivable to shoot someone without it being a racially motivated reason. You do know that people shoot others for many reasons aside from race right?

      Maybe because the man took his tazer and the cop got mad, or was made a fool of and so he reacted… all of which are perfectly conceivable possibilities.

      Now if you are just hell-bent on thinking everything is about race simply because the racial planets align perfectly, then that’s your motives. But looking at this realistically, is more of use here.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to heyjoojoo. | April 8, 2015 at 11:58 pm

        Which is why I said it was a possibility not a certainty. I also said we don’t have enough information yet, either about the former cop or the victim to make any real judgments past what is on the video. We have no information regarding motivations as of yet.

Henry Hawkins | April 8, 2015 at 6:32 pm

North Charleston might burn tonight.

MouseTheLuckyDog | April 8, 2015 at 6:37 pm

[b] One thing that I am curious about but haven’t seen mentioned is what this cops record is like. [/b]

MouseTheLuckyDog | April 8, 2015 at 6:38 pm

One thing that I am curious about but haven’t seen mentioned is what this cops record is like.

Gremlin1974 | April 8, 2015 at 6:49 pm

Unless some pretty fantastic circumstances come to light this was flat out murder. Frankly I think the video alone is enough to make this cop TOAST, regardless of the surrounding circumstances.

Man the unedited video is hard to watch. That cop showed ZERO concern for the man he had just gunned down from behind, he handcuffs him then walks what looks like a significant distance away he never even checks a pulse or to see if the guy is still breathing.

I also noticed near the end of the video he makes sure the other cop is gone then he checks the mans pulse, just wow.

I also hope the person who shot this video is in a safe place.

Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the police officer committed murder.

Is there cause to typecast the police officer and victim?

It seems that preemptive isolation of skin color only serves to advance the profits of the social complex, and does not promote cohesion and stability in a community.

Doesn’t everyone who is pulled over by a police officer for a traffic violation get into a struggle with the officer and then try to run away? Of course, we would all do that……..NOT

“Slager was named in a police complaint in 2013 after he allegedly “tased a man for no reason” before slamming him to the ground and dragging him, according to the North Charleston Police Department.

“At the time, Slager was searching for a suspect who was described as being 5 feet 5 inches tall. The African-American man he confronted was 6-foot-3.

“Slager was cleared in that incident. In a another complaint in January, he was cited for failing to file a report after an African-American woman called police because her children were being harassed.”

http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/08/us/south-carolina-michael-slager/

Thank god there was video, this time, this pig might actually be locked away, this sounds like a pig who needed to be STOPPED.

“Slager was named in a police complaint in 2013 after he allegedly “tased a man for no reason” before slamming him to the ground and dragging him, according to the North Charleston Police Department.

“At the time, Slager was searching for a suspect who was described as being 5 feet 5 inches tall. The African-American man he confronted was 6-foot-3.

“Slager was cleared in that incident. In a another complaint in January, he was cited for failing to file a report after an African-American woman called police because her children were being harassed.”

Thank god a bystander managed to get video, this time, this pig needed to be STOPPED, and hopefully, the police union protection racket can’t get him off again.

“Slager was named in a police complaint in 2013 after he allegedly “tased a man for no reason” before slamming him to the ground and dragging him, according to the North Charleston Police Department.

“At the time, Slager was searching for a suspect who was described as being 5 feet 5 inches tall. The African-American man he confronted was 6-foot-3.

“Slager was cleared in that incident. In a another complaint in January, he was cited for failing to file a report after an African-American woman called police because her children were being harassed.”

Sammy Finkelman | April 9, 2015 at 11:34 am

The officer was probably afraid to tackle the man and used a taser as almost a first resort, and when that was gone, maybe not because it had been thrust out of his hand, but because its charges had been used up, the only alternative he had in mind was his gun.

There was a complaint against Officer Slager from 2013 that he had used a taser when it wasn’t called for. (he also had another complaint against himself from 2014, for failing to take a police report, which was upheld, but it is unknown what if any disciplinary action was taken against him for that)

Sammy Finkelman | April 9, 2015 at 11:40 am

The incident happened Saturday; Walter Scott’s brother Anthony saw the video on Sunday – he agreed not to ask for it and make it public if the police changed their story (the taper was somewhat scared); the police statements hadn’t changed on Monday, by which time they had hired a lawyer from Atlanta who specialized in police misconduct cases; the video became known on Tuesday, and his lawyer quit; Officer Michael Slager was fired on Wednesday, but medical insurance will be maintained for his wife, who is eight months pregnant, until she delivers the baby. This is apparently her first child with him – he has two step-children.

See, y’all? This is why cops and their badge-licking fanbois want to take away our right to film the police.

Sammy Finkelman | April 9, 2015 at 5:01 pm

General discussion of police pursuit by the Police Policy Studies Council, from 2004:

http://www.theppsc.org/Staff_Views/Ashley/reducing_the_risks_of_police_pursuit.htm

This is about car chases, where the danger is crashes, but may cast some light on pursuit by foot.

Sammy Finkelman | April 9, 2015 at 5:33 pm

http://news.yahoo.com/scott-south-carolina-police-shooting-witness-erase-video-140923913.html

(Witness to S.C. police shooting ‘thought about erasing the video’ because he thought his life might be in danger if he made it public) And he is still scared.

http://www.theppsc.org/Staff_Views/Ashley/reducing_the_risks_of_police_pursuit.htm

(concerning car chases)

©2004 The Police Policy Studies Council

Sammy Finkelman | April 9, 2015 at 6:50 pm

The police released the dashcam video. The picture gets clearer. It doesn’t help the cop, though.

The car indeed had a brake light that was out. And when he fled, Walter Scott had not yet shown his driver’s license. The car was not in his name. So the escape would have bene successful. had he got clean away.

Walter Scott stumbles on his story that he tlls to the cop, and is probably lying. He is driving, but there is a passenger in the car – nobody seems to know what happened to him or who he is.

Walter Scott first says he bought the car and then that he didn’t yet, since apparently he thinks that version will be more likely keep him out of trouble.

When the cop goes off to look up some information (on the car?) Walter Scott, gets out of the car, 27 seconds into the video. Slager tells him he needs him to stay in the car. 16 seconds later, if I underestoodf the CBS Evening News report right, Scott makes a break for it and begins running.

The video doesn’t show what happens next, but the cell phone video picks up after Slager has used his taser, unsuccessfully.

Sammy Finkelman | April 9, 2015 at 6:56 pm

The police released the dashcam video. The picture gets clearer. It doesn’t help the cop, though.

The car indeed had a brake light that was out. And when he fled, Walter Scott had not yet shown his driver’s license. The car was not in his name. So the escape would have been successful. had he got clean away.

Walter Scott stumbles on his story that he tlls to the cop, and is probably lying. He is driving, but there is a passenger in the car – nobody seems to know what happened to him or who he is.

Walter Scott first says he bought the car and then that he didn’t yet, since apparently he thinks that version will be more likely keep him out of trouble.

When the cop goes off to look up some information (on the car?) Walter Scott, gets out of the car, 27 seconds into the video. Slager tells him he needs him to stay in the car. 16 seconds later, if I understood the CBS Evening News report right, Scott makes a break for it and begins running.

The video doesn’t show what happens next, but the cell phone video picks up after Slager has used his taser, unsuccessfully.

The dashcam video shows this officer being professional and polite, right up to the second that Mr. Scott runs off. You can clearly him shout “Tazer tazer”. I am not sure exactly what that meant, but this video does shed some light on this terrible situation.

We are often told to never draw your weapon unless you intend to use it, which is good advice to civilians who want to avoid accusations of brandishing. My concern is that such advice can be translated into a license to shoot upon drawing. In this case, if the perp wrestled the taser from the officer’s grip, the officer certainly had to draw his pistol. However, it seems obvious that there was never a need or legal ability for him to fire.

The officer does not appear to be in fear of his life or health by the disturbingly casual manner in which he fired his weapon. He should have felt alarmed during the tussle over the taser, but by the time his weapon cleared his holster the perp had disengaged and was in full retreat.

As to no LEOs rendering medical assistance, I assume they are trained not to do so, but to leave it to EMTs en route.

In a nation that demonstrates little ability to make simple distinctions (rational) how do we expect them to make critical/complex ones?

Sammy Finkelman | April 11, 2015 at 9:44 pm

Yes, that turns out to be wrong, or not apply. His brotehr had last seen him some three weeks before, if I remember right. I think he maybe was convinced by his lawyer that that couldn’t be the case.

The family also said he bought the car the previous week, but I am not sure how they would know it. In the dashcam video, Walter Scott first claimed that he had bought the car when his car broke down, but, when it appeared that that would cause a problem because, if so, he should have insurance, he stumbled around and tried to say he was the process of buying the car.

And he readily admitted (or claimed) that he had no papers, and claimed the other guy (name not supplied or anything) had all the papers related to the car.

And now we see also why the family lawyer claimed he was fleeing because he hadn’t paid child support. He may have convinced the brother of that, but he probably knew better. He probably exactly what the problem probably was with the car. /b>

I’m not sure what it was but it must be some scheme that was going around.

Char Char Binks | April 12, 2015 at 4:40 pm

Diwataman completely changed my mind. That dirtbag deadbeat dad Scott tased Officer Slager, and then he got what he deserved. Slager is a hero for shooting and killing that fleeing felon.

Char Char Binks | April 12, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Check out the Conservative Tree House. His own video proves that witness Santana was lying. Slager was defending himself from a thug who stole his taser and shot him with it. He shot a fleeing, violent felon in the back, and good riddance to that rubbish! The video proves that Scott was on top of Slager, on the ground, seconds before the shooting. Careful viewing of the enhanced video also shows the taser wires stuck to Slager, including his left left, which later video shows was bleeding. Santana didn’t know everything that was captured on his camera, and he lied through his teeth! He needs to be charged with whatever crime is appropriate, including obstruction of justice and evidence tampering. OFFICER SLAGER IS A HERO!!!

Char Char Binks | April 12, 2015 at 8:54 pm

Santana lied! His own video proves it. He saw Scott attack Officer Slager, and fight on the ground ON TOP OF HIM, but he didn’t know that his own camera recorded it. He’s hoist with his own retard! I now believe Slager acted properly after being stripped of his taser and tased by Scott. He shot a fleeing, violent felon, and rightly so. I also no longer believe he planted evidence. He retrieved the taser, and dropped it near Scott, perhaps accidentally, but then Santana’s video shows him retrieving it and holstering it.

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