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On shooting fleeing suspects

On shooting fleeing suspects

Not so fast.

The killing of Walter Scott by Officer MIchael Slager was caught on video, leaving no doubt that he was shot in the back while fleeing from a traffic stop. A commenter on my blog asked whether the hue and cry that has resulted means that “if you can run away from a cop, you can get away with any crime because any effort to stop your pursuit using a weapon is unlawful and wrong?”

No, but unless some very unusual mitigating information emerges, this was too much firepower considering the offense and the situation surrounding it.

But don’t take my word for it; here are the rules:

The Supreme Court held in a 1989 case, Graham v. Connor, that the appropriateness of use of force by officers “must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene,” rather than evaluated through 20/20 hindsight.

That standard is designed to take into account that police officers are frequently asked to make split-second decisions during fast-evolving confrontations, and should not be subject to overly harsh second guessing…

A seminal 1985 Supreme Court case, Tennessee vs. Garner, held that the police may not shoot at a fleeing person unless the officer reasonably believes that the individual poses a significant physical danger to the officer or others in the community. That means officers are expected to take other, less-deadly action during a foot or car pursuit unless the person being chased is seen as an immediate safety risk.

In other words, a police officer who fires at a fleeing man who a moment earlier murdered a convenience store clerk may have reasonable grounds to argue that the shooting was justified. But if that same robber never fired his own weapon, the officer would likely have a much harder argument.

“You don’t shoot fleeing felons. You apprehend them unless there are exigent circumstances — emergencies — that require urgent police action to safeguard the community as a whole,” said Greg Gilbertson, a police practices expert and criminal justice professor at Centralia College in Washington state.

That’s the reason the condemnation of Slager was strong from all quarters, including from police.

Police always have to make split-second judgment calls, and that can be extremely difficult. It’s part of the job, however; they should not be hampered from doing their job, but neither are they given carte blanche to be trigger-happy.

You can tell people to never fight or struggle with an officer, and not to defy him or mouth off. Wait till you get a lawyer and have the lawyer defy him and mouth off, if necessary. That’s common sense and good advice. But a lot of people, especially those who are in any sort of trouble with the law (including relatively minor trouble, such as Scott’s) are going to try to flee. You don’t want cops killing them all. There are ways to determine when it is okay to shoot and when it is not okay to shoot, and unless there are some huge surprise revelations in this case, it should have been a “not okay to shoot” case.

Slager may have shown awareness of this when he—as has been reported—appears to drop something near Scott’s body in the video, after the shooting. If he was planting evidence (the taser?), it indicates a possible awareness of guilt and attempt at a coverup.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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Well he was behind on child support payments, so i guess that is a capital offense worthy of summary execution in the on going war on women.

    Ragspierre in reply to EBL. | April 11, 2015 at 11:38 am

    That was stupid and beneath you.

    1. it’s not “woman” support. It’s child support, and I’ve gotten it FROM women.

    2. the rest is just bullshit, unworthy of my time.

      Well, I was going to comment but since I have a “bad hair” day, probably best not to say anything now! Besides, Spring might be arriving now in MinneSoColD!

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Ragspierre. | April 11, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      It’s child support, and I’ve gotten it FROM women.

      Oh wow is your practice doing so bad that you have to get child support?

      platypus in reply to Ragspierre. | April 11, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      Rags, child support is a racket run by the feds. I’ve raised children and they are never as expensive as the average monthly child extortion payment. Once in awhile they have expensive issues but that does not justify using child support orders as a method of wealth transfer.

      I understand that lots of people think it is necessary but what is really needed is the end of the lie called no-fault divorce. BTW, every analysis done of compliance with support orders shows that having access to children is the most effective method of getting child support payments in full and on time.

        Ragspierre in reply to platypus. | April 11, 2015 at 6:51 pm

        Sorry, but my state has its own family code, and it didn’t come from DC.

        Most child support payments are quite modest. They can be adjusted in either direction as earnings warrant.

        It is expressly forbidden for a parent to condition access to children on the status of child support payments in Texas.

        You’ll get no argument from me WRT no-fault divorce. Most of the ones I handle would easily be supported by “fault”.

        CloseTheFed in reply to platypus. | April 11, 2015 at 8:23 pm

        I do divorce work, and I agree 100%.


        The reasons I’ve heard women give for wanting a divorce make my hair curl. All about them, and their happiness, and not much concern about how the kids are going to feel having Dad ripped away.

        CloseTheFed in reply to platypus. | April 11, 2015 at 8:32 pm

        BTW, I may have hit the wrong “reply.” I was agreeing with Platypus.

        Barry in reply to platypus. | April 12, 2015 at 1:01 pm

        “Rags, child support is a racket run by the feds.”

        Really, support that statement. As far as I know, every state has its own family law courts and laws. Perhaps there is an exception.

        “I’ve raised children and they are never as expensive as the average monthly child extortion payment.”
        “Child extortion payment”?

        Is it your opinion that the parents do not have a responsibility to pay for the children? What do you consider a reasonable payment?

        “method of wealth transfer.”

        Well, yeah, from the parent to the child. I doubt many children are getting payments beyond a minimal amount.

        Divorce law has nothing to do with the fact that children are an obligation upon you, the parent.

      snopercod in reply to Ragspierre. | April 11, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      Unworthy of your time? Oh, I forgot, this blog is all about you…

        Ragspierre in reply to snopercod. | April 11, 2015 at 6:45 pm

        OK, then! You step up and defend her bullshit…

        1. Scott was summarily executed

        2. for being late with child support

        3. which is an offense as part of the war on women

        Take it point-by-point. I’ll MAKE time for this.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to EBL. | April 11, 2015 at 11:40 am

    There was no warrant.

    Well maybe there was. There are still a lot of stories that say there was.

    In one sense it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is if Scott believed that there was a warrant.

MouseTheLuckyDog | April 11, 2015 at 11:49 am

One thing the dashcam video shows: Scott’s attempt to run was not an impulsive thing, but rather a deliberate action. He knew the cops had his driver’s license and would have “his car”. ( Title of the car is very vague at this point. My feeling was that was deliberate. He probably didn’t want to acknowledge title of a newly bought car while owing child support. ) Knowing this, he chose to run anyway. Why?

Bitterlyclinging | April 11, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Missing seconds of video of the ‘Tussle’ plus the mystery passenger’s testimony.
The Scott family is bringing in Ryan Julison, the media coordinator and masseuse who brought us the Trayvon Martin selective media leaks and witnesses who weren’t, on behalf of the ‘Scheme Team’ Parks and Crump, who are, at the moment, lying low, trying to avoid prematurely raising any hackles as to their intent. The BGI is, like it or not, preparing to deliver another Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Rolling Stone/Sabrina Erdely “Rape On The UVA Campus” circus of lies in the best geospatial positioning challenged Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC’s Democratic Delegate to the House Of Representatives “Its not the facts that matter, its the narrative that counts” tradition.
The summer heat approacheth, and if you’re going to set the streets of America’s cities on fire over racial strife, the time is now.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Bitterlyclinging. | April 11, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    The question is: do they have to?

    Ragspierre in reply to Bitterlyclinging. | April 11, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Oh, I highly doubt anybody has to “bring in” Ryan Julison, or that the Scott family would know how.

    OTOH, it seems that both the Scott family and the local leaders are doing what they can to repulse the Sharpton crowd.

    Now, what all this has to do with the killing of Mr. Scott and its legal questions, I don’t know.

    Ryan Julison has been working for the family for a while now. According to Conservative Treehouse:
    Where is the passenger? Under the control of the Scheme Team of Ryan Julison and Walter Scott family lawyers of course.

    The passenger has an attorney named Mike Peper. Mike Peper is son of Warren Peper who is a media politico in SC. Who is paying for Mike Peper, most likely the Scheme Team.

    Remember, Video witness Feidin Santana is represented by Ben Crump’s fellow traveler Todd Rutherford. All of these “witnesses” and “key players” have lawyers provided by the construct of the Black Grievance Industry, the Scheme Team and Ryan Julison.

On the “taser being planted” theory, I have a question:

Assume perp resists arrest and fights police officer.
Perp grabs taser away from police officer, then drops it and runs away further.

Perp is shot and goes down. What do you do with the taser, since it is now evidence (finger prints, etc)
a) leave it back where it was dropped by perp
b) retrieve and holster it back in your belt
c) retrieve and drop it where perp endeded up

It seems like we are assuming that dropping the taser near the body implies planting evidence, when it could just be centrally locating the evidence for the follow-up units who investigate the scene?

    NavyMustang in reply to Fen. | April 11, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Since this is an officer involved shooting and the taser will be a major part of my reasoning for the use of lethal force, the taser must stay where it was dropped. It’s part of the crime scene.

    It seems like we are assuming that dropping the taser near the body implies planting evidence, when it could just be centrally locating the evidence for the follow-up units who investigate the scene?

    So you’re going for not evil, just stupid, as Slager’s defense?

      No, I’m asking an honest question. Since the taser was dropped to the ground during the middle of the chase, its not unreasonable to ask if there was a concern that leaving it there might result in someone else either tampering with it or taking it. You would need to have another officer stand guard over it, which might not have been possible.

      As for you, you’re just an idiot promoting your “cause” off the body of a black man to compensate for whatever douchey things you are doing in your life. Please go pound sand.

        Seriously? You think Police Academy teaches, in. re. crime scene management, that after you’ve shot someone dead it’s best to go around and pick up evidence and “centrally locate” it by dropping it next to the guy’s dead body?

          Science has shown that men who use that word against women are in the bottom 25% percentile, in both general intelligence and physical endowment. Not something I’d think you’d want to so publicly advertise, but maybe that’s just me.

          Barry in reply to Amy in FL. | April 12, 2015 at 1:10 pm

          Hey Fen, screw you, you dumb bastard. You asked a stupid question, that any five year old knows the answer to. That you then use misogynistic name calling shows the low IQ that resulted in your stupid question in the first place.

          In case you still can’t figure it out, there is no excuse for moving the evidence. Period. It is a crime to do so. I expect this officer will be charged for it.

          Henry Hawkins in reply to Amy in FL. | April 12, 2015 at 3:10 pm

          I think an officer is allowed to secure any weapons on the scene after a shooting, safety being preeminent over securing the scene in terms of evidence?

          Barry in reply to Amy in FL. | April 12, 2015 at 6:09 pm

          Henry, according to those I know, with one exception, weapons of any type should not be touched until after photographs and diagrams are made. Then, it is normal for the crime scene technicians to remove those items in order to preserve them properly as evidence. An officer with a discharged weapon in his hand should holster it until the crime scene technicians arrive.

          The only exception is when a crowd cannot be controlled and there is a high likelihood someone will take the weapon. I see no crowd here, much less an uncontrollable one.

    MattMusson in reply to Fen. | April 12, 2015 at 9:20 am

    The Sleuths at the Conservative Treehouse have enhanced the video. It clearly shows a wire leading from the Oficer to the suspect as he fled.

    The Officer almost certainly still had a dart in his leg. The tazer or the dart package looks like it was wrapped around the suspects leg. Subsequent pictures show the officer had a dart wound in the leg.

    I am not sure how much this changes the legality of the situation. But – it certainly proves that the suspect did engage in a fight with the officer and was not just fleeing.

      Midwest Rhino in reply to MattMusson. | April 12, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      The frame I saw had the line going from Scott’s foot or lower leg up toward the officer’s hand. It seems likely to me the officer caught up to Scott, close enough to shoot the Tazer, maybe hitting him in the leg. Wouldn’t he use the Tazer before trying to physically tackle Scott? He even radioed “Tazer Tazer Tazer”, which is maybe the Tazer equivalent of “shots fired”, idk.

      There was some struggle/fight, according to the guy that took the video. Maybe the officer was trying to cuff Scott. Then Scott was able to run, the Tazer line pulled tight (maybe the officer dropped it then) then the officer pulled the gun and shot.

      If Sammy’s stories are true, it would seem this officer previously entered a home and Tazed the wrong guy, because that wrong guy would not comply with the officers demands he come outside.

      “The Sleuths at the Conservative Treehouse” are also “reporting” that on the tape, Slager reports that Scott tased him, saying, “223, I just got shocked by…subject is down, he grabbed my taser!” [note: this is not true].

      Another “sleuth” there on why Scott was such a “dangerous felon” that he needed to be executed on the spot: “Scott driving with a tail light out is a tad dangerous. Scott driving an uninsured, unregistered and un-inspected vehicle might be dangerous. Scott compelling an officer to pursue him through residential streets on foot is probably dangerous. Scott having to leave his patrol car and spend valuable minutes away from his patrol duties could have endangered someone dependent on immediate police response … that could be dangerous.”

      And another: “The way mr. Scott acted & ran like He did.. his actions are like He was very “paranoid”… There a new street drug out that is called flackka, that seems to mimic the way Mr. Scott Walker [sic – LOL!] was acting…” [note: flakka is 2015’s “bath salts”]

      And still others are claiming that the video was edited, or even a complete set-up, and that the accidental citizen-journalist who filmed it “probably also has a Muslim name”.

      They’re also postulating that the local blacks are hyping this for something to do, since “Gee, the 2015 SC Watermelon Festival isn’t until July. What to do? What to do? Let’s have a protest. Persecute another cop.” And you know. Blacks! And watermelon! LOL!

      These are not people to take seriously.

        Char Char Binks in reply to Amy in FL. | April 13, 2015 at 10:17 am

        Scott was dangerous because he just assaulted a cop, stole his weapon, and tased him. He was also driving with a known violent thug.

          There is no evidence that there was a reasonable reason to believe that a running-away unarmed Scott was such an imminent danger to either the cop or to the public at large that he needed to be executed on the spot. None.

        healthguyfsu in reply to Amy in FL. | April 13, 2015 at 12:04 pm

        Would you like your opinions judged on their merits by everyone who posts on this site?

    TotallyPeeved in reply to Fen. | April 16, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    I think NOT MOVING the evidence is rule number 1 in evidence gathering. I know this because I have watched CSI many times. 🙂

“In other words, a police officer who fires at a fleeing man who a moment earlier murdered a convenience store clerk may have reasonable grounds to argue that the shooting was justified. But if that same robber never fired his own weapon, the officer would likely have a much harder argument.”

I have to respectfully disagree.

A fleeing felon who just killed someone AND has a weapon on his person?

I could articulate and defend lethal force against that suspect all day long.

I mentioned in another thread that a cop was in a foot chase with a suspect yesterday in the DC area and the suspect turned, shot at the cop and critically wounded him.

If the suspect just killed someone and has the means to bring lethal force, he is a danger to me the cop and the community at large.

    Old0311 in reply to NavyMustang. | April 11, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    And what does that have to do with this case? Being behind in child support hardly equates to an armed killer running from police.

    That’s an unfair reading of the scenario by the Professor. The 2nd scenario is the felon having a weapon but NOT killing the store clerk, precisely because he did not fire his weapon.

    In other words, yeah, if the felon just killed someone, he’s an immediate danger. On the other hand, someone who got a hand on your taser momentarily, but no longer does and is fleeing at a sickly pace, is highly unlikely to present an immediate danger unless the officer assumes things he never saw. The proper outcome is to briefly give chase, knock the guy down, arrest him for assaulting a police officer, and control the scene. That’s obviously… not what happened here, and that is the problem.

MouseTheLuckyDog | April 11, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Did Slager “tamper with evidence”?

At first blush, he obviously did. I’ve heard some people suggest that he might have been “securing the scene”. He didn’t want someone stealing the weapon. I have a hard time buying that. Maybe if it was a gun, but a taser is not tempting enough, and it is lying close enough to make sure no one absconds with it.

The person recording has told the press that the cops new he was recording. The cops say they knew he was recording. Just before Slager picks up the gun, he looks right at the camera, so it is almost impossible he did not know the guy was recording. If it was an attempt to tamper with the evidence, then it was the worst attempt to tamper since an episode of Perry Mason. What’s more, a few seconds after he drops the taser, Slager picks it up and holsters it.

It has however occurred to me that in some recent shootings, crowd control is problematic. If that happened here, it might be hard to prevent the taser from getting taken. So now “securing” seems much more reasonable.

I think one thing that will be illuminating is if Slager mentioned it in his report and statements.

    You need to stop getting all your “evidence” from that Conservative Nuthouse blog. Seriously.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | April 11, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Slager lied about his taser being taken away from him – which it wasn’t – and about being in a tussle.

    It also looks like he got away with lying in a previous incident.

    A man and a woman had broken up. The ex-girlfriend complained to police that the man had entered her home without permission while she was sleeping.

    The police go to his mother’s house, where the man’s brother Mario Givens, was present but the ex-boyfriend wasn’t apparently, and, without explaining anything, demand that Mario Givens step outside. And he’s only wearing a T-shirt and boxers. Or maybe it is Givens who spots the policeman. The policeman goes in.

    Whatever happens, Slager decides that Mario Givens is a little slow in complying with his instructions and zaps him with a taser. (It’s probable, combining the two incidents, that Slager simply has no confidence in his ability to overpower anyone, and when he is scared and at the first sign of trouble, out goes his taser. In the case of Walter Scott he lost the taser or the tasers charges were used up, and the next thing was the gun.)

    Anyway Given gets hit in the stomach with a taser, and two cops drag him outside. The ex-girlfriend is there and tells the police they have the wrong man, and Slager tells her to get back.

    Givens is complaining why he was tased, and Slager then zaps Givens a second time with a taser while he is on the ground outside.

    Givens is arrested for resisting arrest. Those charges get dropped, and also Givens makes a complaint against the polioceman the next day. They have witnesses too, including neighbors.

    Nobody ever gets called for an interview and six weeks later, when Mario Givens calls to inquire, he is told that Officer Slager had been exonerated.

Humphrey's Executor | April 11, 2015 at 3:36 pm

What is it about a chase — physiologically, psychologically — that seems to give a police officer the uncontrollable urge to beat the bejesus out of a subject, or worse?

    I thought someone might bring that up. First, it is controllable, else we wouldn’t have any police using non-lethal force at all, which means we expect better of them in cases not putting them in extreme danger; second, the urge itself applies to pretty much every human being who’s ever hunted. Frankly, it probably applies to quite a lot of people who haven’t, just from genetic predisposition.

    CloseTheFed in reply to Humphrey's Executor. | April 11, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Generally, people in law enforcement don’t like people with “attitude.” If you have attitude with something else, well there you are.

    I have never understood where “attitude” was in the criminal code.

    As for non-lethal, its kinda obvious he tried to use the taser first.


    I policed 16+ years, 10+ as a supervisor, and have trained officers in the academy and as a FTO, and still conduct training for agencies and officers for more than 30 years now.

    I believe the answer to your question is complicated, but I believe a lot of it comes down to the officer lacking the professional maturity to NOT take resistance personally.

    Most officers I’ve investigated following use of force incidents where the officers over-reacted were typically one of two categories of officers: Those with less than 5 years on the street and the perpetual rookie (there are two ways to get to retirement, serve for 20 years, or serve 1 year 20-times over..e.g., the perpetual rookie).

    Neither develops the professional maturity to accept that their authority is not something that attaches to them personally, but that it derives from the office they hold. So, when someone resists them, it is a school-yard fight mentality where they perceive that the resistance is against THEM, not against the badge. When it becomes personal – logic, reason, and rationality can take a back seat to punishment, revenge and ‘lesson teaching’.

    That is a too common thing with any person who gains any level of authority over anyone else…new supervisors & managers, first-time sports coaches, etc… but it can turn especially unfortunate when the individual has the authority of life-and-death on their hip.

    I’m not sure we are ready to turn American-style policing into where I think it might need to be…very much along the lines of less-lethally armed apprentices with lethally armed journeyman mentoring them for several years until the apprentices mature professionally…but something MAY need to change.

I’ve seen discussion, which is convincing, that Scott wasn’t clean in all his activities. That seemed obvious; he ran from the police. I have yet to see anything which justifies the shooting in the back while he ran. I don’t care about all the media and lawyers gathering. The only thing that matters to me is fact. I didn’t want the shooter in the Martin and Brown cases blamed because the facts clearly exonerated them. In this case, I don’t see that.

    The only relevance that has is to Scott’s state of mind when tussling with the officer and running away. The fact he was genuinely and obviously running away matters for more.

    I’ve seen discussion, which is convincing, that Scott wasn’t clean in all his activities.

    Even so, just as testimony that a rape victim wasn’t a virgin has no place in a rape trial, neither should we demand 100% purity of this murder victim. If he wasn’t an immediate threat to either the police officer or to the public at large, his killing was illegal.

It is very likely that the only remaining point in this case is whether he is sentenced to life without parole or life with parole. The defense attorneys will agree to plead him to first degree murder which negates the death penalty. The remaining issue is a matter of the defense attorneys convincing the prosecutors that they have enough mitigating evidence to defeat life without parole. They do not want to go to trial on that issue since it would most likely be in front of a judge, not a jury.

    amwick in reply to platypus. | April 11, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Maybe it is premature to expect to true bill from the Grand Jury, although the way Slager has been already found guilty, maybe that would be interesting. Still waiting on Andrew to come back.

Sammy Finkelman | April 11, 2015 at 9:54 pm

We’ve learned a little bit more.

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 maybe 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.

I was not 100% clear why the policeman went back to his car, but I think Walter Scott did not give him his driver’s license, because I think he was saying he didn’t have anything with him, and therefore Michael Slager went back to his car to run the license plates to see if the car was stolen.

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.

It turns out to be wrong, or not apply, that his brother Anthony said Walter took special care not to have anything wrong with his. 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 that there was reall brake light problem.

At first Anthony said he didn’t want Al Sharpton at the funeral because he said it would turn into a circus, but later he said Al Sharpton could come to a church to preach (and he’d be in the audience?)

    Sammy I tend to agree with your way of thinking in regard to the car itself and perhaps the real reason that Scott ran.

    I think that the child support claim is b.s. I think it is something that Ryan Julison told the family to say in order to cover up what might have been the real crime.

    This does not excuse the actions of Slager.

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to Aussie. | April 13, 2015 at 11:58 am

      Sammy I tend to agree with your way of thinking in regard to the car itself and perhaps the real reason that Scott ran.

      I think that the child support claim is b.s. I think it is something that Ryan Julison told the family to say in order to cover up what might have been the real crime.

      I think the family doesn’t really know about what wass going on about the car. I think they may have been worry about being arrested on a child support warrant was the reason he ran.

      I think there are some people involved who have a good idea, or even actual knowledge of what the situation was with that car, and they don’t want anyone to know. Whatever it was, it really can’t be a secret, but the media are not going into it. It may have to come out as time goes on, and the identity of the passenger is revealed. I don’t even know if it is a fact that Walter Scott changed cars a few days before.

        Sammy Finkelman in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | April 13, 2015 at 12:04 pm

        That should be:

        I think they may have been convinced that worry about being arrested on a child support warrant was the reason he ran.

        I think the lawyers et al are more interested in protecting the other people involved in the car ring or whatever it was then in helping the Scott family, or anyone else, get money. They do want to change police practices to protect the (stolen or whatever) car ring and other organized crime businesses. That’s where they get their real money.

    Char Char Binks in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | April 13, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    I agree, he must not have had Scott’s ID. After the shooting Slager refers to him as “… black male, mid-twenties and thirties…”. I’ve seen pics of Scott with some gray in his beard, but less gray than the 33-year-old Slager, and a person’s age is often hard to estimate, especially with blacks.

Sammy Finkelman | April 11, 2015 at 10:33 pm

There had been a lot of pressure from superiors on the police, much of it successful.

The crime rate had been going down in North Charleston.

Slager wasn’t someone dedicated to his job, because he once failed to take a complaint.

So he’s actually scared of falling down on the job.

I think my theory that Slager felt he would get into a lot of trouble if he let Scott escape, but that he could cover up any violation of the rules if he prevented an escape is probably right.

Later that Saturday, Anthony Scott came and started taking pictures. The police wanted his camera. At first he refused, saying are you going to kill me like you killed my brother, but he did turn it over in the end.

Later, the chief of police returned the camera with an apology.

The person who shot the video said the polioce told him to stay there, but he absconded, and was afraid for his life even after he turned over the video – which he was reluctant to do – and the Slager was arrested. He claims that he began checking into whether or not he knew the family and found he had a mutual acquaintance, and showd Anthomy Scott the video on Sunday. This was maybe before Anthony Scott had hired a lawyer. Scott decided he’d give the police one day to correct their story. The next day they hadn’t, and the shooter agreed to turn over the video, which was later handed to police (on Tuesday)

Carol Herman | April 12, 2015 at 1:53 am

What’s the obligation if you run from the police? You’re stopped. But you decide to just take off.

Which is what happened here. The officer had not been planning on murdering anybody.

Maybe, instead of guns, we should give cops bull horns. So they can yell “stop” louder?

“Yet you have not taken issue with what was said. Hypocrites.”

Who is “you”?

Apologies this response was meant for another site.

I am not into conspiracy theories and in this case I am a bit annoyed at the Conservative Treehouse. However, they have made me think about whether or not this is a clear cut case of murder.

We have seen the video, in fact the video has been broadcast around the world. It is being used as another case of white cop kills black man.

Maybe CTH are onto something but going in the wrong direction. I do not know. It could be that there are genuine questions to be raised about Mr. Scott’s behaviour.

The big question to me, and perhaps the elephant in the room is the matter of child support. Who put out the story that Scott ran from Slager because of an arrest warrant? Was it a false story planted by Ryan Julison?

Ryan Julison is very much tied up with the BGI. Why are the BGI even involved in this matter when Slager has been arrested?

What would Scott’s family be trying to hide about Scott’s real activities? Do those activities have any bearing on how Scott got the money to purchase the car? What is so important about the passenger in the car? Is there a tie-in to the passenger and why Scott ran in the first place?

Did Scott become a petty drug dealer? Yes I am daring to ask the obvious question that could be raised that might give true insight as to why Scott ran in the first place.

These questions may or may not be relevant in regard to why Slager found it necessary to shoot a man in the back. To me this case has a lot of difference to either that of the Trayvon Martin case, the Mike Brown case, and the guy in New York City (who had an asthmatic attack when he was resisting arrest).

What is more, the information that came out later, in regard to how Slager had used unnecessary force on an innocent man, is very telling about Slager’s behaviour.

I am not willing to call Slager a racist. This is the angle that the BGI is wanting to use in regard to this case. I am not sure that racism is at the heart of Slager’s actions.

In this case, I do believe that if Slager had a camera attached to his person there would be less doubt about what had happened. What is most curious to me is that Slager’s partner was a black man.

    Who put out the story that Scott ran from Slager because of an arrest warrant? Was it a false story planted by Ryan Julison?

    What makes you think it was “a false story planted by Ryan Julison”? The treehouse nuts?

    There was a bench warrant active at the time of the broken tail light stop; it was recalled on April 8th due to him being, you, know, dead and all.

    Barry in reply to Aussie. | April 12, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    “I am not into conspiracy theories…”

    You sure?

      Here’s the latest Nuthouse conspiracy theory: All these black guys getting shot are actually set-ups by the vast “black grievance industry”. Scott’s tail lights may have been intentionally broken, “to trap an officer” into pulling him over, there never was any bench warrant for back child support, that was all a lie, and Scott intentionally ran because he wanted to trick “Slager” into killing him – suicide by cop. And Santana, the accidental citizen-journalist (who still might also have a different, Muslim name, I think they’re still looking into that), was in on it too! But! It wasn’t actually Slager who shot him… it was all a “black grievance industry” set-up, and although Slager did fire 8 times, it was the OTHER assassin’s bullets which actually killed Scott! Slager’s all missed!

      And Mike Brown was another intentional suicide-by-cop set up by the vast “black grievance industry”, having “purposely beat up the store clerk to get officer attention” so that he could later get the police to shoot him and become a martyr for the cause!

      I know, right? o_0

        Midwest Rhino in reply to Amy in FL. | April 13, 2015 at 9:34 am

        wow … but I think some of that is from commenters, where conspiracy theory seems to be a sort of online game, on some blogs at least. But it is hard to tell which “facts” to trust.

        Your link did say they found the passenger, and he has a long arrest record, including armed robbery and distribution of crack. I doubt the officer knew that at the time, but he may have had the intuition, or even recognized the guys.

        A couple decades ago this white kid was cooking at a bar I frequented. I sat with him a little and discussed what it was like, killing a guy, for which he had been convicted.

        He had been selling drugs, and was pretty matter of fact that these two guys were running from him because they knew they were selling on “his turf”, and knew he’d shoot them. He said his shirt got hung up jumping a fence or he would have gotten the second guy, and gotten away with it.

        That doesn’t change the story for this cop, and I don’t know if Scott had any such record. I just bring it up as context for how crazy it can be out there. The drug dealers fighting over turf is part of why the pat downs Giuliani was doing were necessary in some areas, and why the Obama/Sharpton racist narrative is so damaging to efforts to building trust.

        Sammy Finkelman in reply to Amy in FL. | April 13, 2015 at 1:00 pm

        There’s no way that could be a set-up. How could you do it?

        Yes, you could get Walter Scott to drive in a car with a broken taillight, and you could have him go to a place where cars get stopped, and you could maybe even convince him that, if stopped, he ought to flee, but how do you get the cop to take out his gun and shoot??

        Char Char Binks in reply to Amy in FL. | April 14, 2015 at 2:41 pm

        It’s easy to “discredit” your opposition. Just take the most extreme examples and conflate them with the reasonable arguments of those who disagree with you. It’s a classic straw man fallacy.

How about this for an elephant in the room, Mr. Slager getting hit by his own taser? Did anyone see the pic of him with another LEO with his one trouser leg rolled up? I doubt he was just flashing. The why behind Mr. Scott fleeing seems less important to me than if he had the taser, used it then ran. Hopefully we will get to hear somehow, or get professional analysis of those “damning” videos.

Char Char Binks | April 12, 2015 at 11:33 pm

Santana lied! Scott assaulted Officer Slager, stole his taser, and tased him. Slager is a hero!

    The only people I see making that claim are the Conservative Nuthouse gang. SMH.

    In any case, if Slager had been tased, why did he not mention it… to anyone? Not while it was happening, not in its immediate aftermath, and not in the discussion he had later as he discusses what will happen next with a senior officer. He stuck to his story: “He grabbed my taser, yeah [the one he later appears to have planted on his dead body]. Yeah, he was running from me.” If he had been tased, don’t you think he might have mentioned that?

    And even if he had been, it still wouldn’t justify him unloading his weapon into Scott’s back as he was running away. If he had shot him while the struggle was going on, sure, I can see that. As with Zimmerman, you’re allowed to use deadly force in the face of imminent threat of death or great bodily injury. But just as Zimmerman would have been guilty of murder if he waited till Martin dismounted him and started running away (and thus was no longer an imminent threat) and then shot him in the back; so too is Slager in the same boat. Once the person disengages, retreats and is no longer a threat, you’re not allowed to execute him, no matter how ticked off you are.

    And then, of course, there’s still the consciousness of guilt problem. If Slager were truly of the mind that it was a righteous shoot, why did he feel the need to alter the crime scene by dropping an object (ostensibly the taser) on the ground next to the guy he just killed?

    There is a weird Cult of Slager forming, and though I’m not of the general belief that Slager was a racist who killed this guy just because he was black; from seeing some of the racist comments made about Scott, the (black) videographer, and other blacks involved in this, I do believe there is racism involved in wanting so badly for Slager to be the Great White* Hero [*intentional], and Scott to have been just another “hood-rat” and “black thug” who needed to be “put down”, and isn’t the world a better place for it.

    You guys can demonize Scott all you want, but unless you can show how an unarmed 50-year-old man running away from a police officer is such an imminent threat to either the officer or the public at large that he requires immediate extra-judicial execution, Slager is still not the great white hero y’all are looking for.

      amwick in reply to Amy in FL. | April 13, 2015 at 11:24 am

      Slager does not seem to be a racist murdering cop either. Not a hero, not a villain, just a guy with a difficult and dangerous job. What happened to that innocent until proven guilty stuff? I have to believe people who are actual lawyers are waiting for more facts to be presented. I know they are here someplace.

        I didn’t say he was a “racist murdering cop either.” I specifically said I didn’t think he was. I said the only racism I’ve seen is from some of his defenders, some of the people bound and determined to make him their Great White Black-Thug-Exterminatin’-Hero.

        Okay. Here’s a guy who’s an actual lawyer: Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School.

        He, like I, believes that the evidence so far shows that Slager was a bad cop who was clearly in the wrong here. And he, too, like I, doesn’t believe that Slager’s execution of Scott necessarily translates into a demonstration of racism on Slager’s part.

        The officer may have been angry with Scott, for trying to grab his taser—if that is indeed what Scott did. He may even have been frightened, though the video does not suggest fear on the part of the officer, as he methodically shot Scott in the back as he was running away. It suggests that the officer was trying to prevent Scott from fleeing. If Scott had, in fact, assaulted Officer Slager and had tried to grab his taser, then the officer may have had reasonable grounds for arresting Scott for more serious crimes of violence, such as assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. But that would still not justify shooting Scott in the back to stop him from fleeing such an arrest, since the constitutional criterion for the use of deadly force requires a reasonable fear of imminent serious harm to the officer or the public. The video clearly shows that this standard was not met. But it doesn’t necessarily show that Officer Slager’s unauthorized use of deadly force was motivated by racism. A considerable number of white people have been unlawfully shot by police who were angered by the disrespect and contempt shown them by arrest resisters. This does not, of course, justify any unlawful resort to deadly force, but it does provide a plausible non-racist explanation for Officer Slager’s apparently unlawful response.

        And yes, of course more facts will be presented at the actual trial. Slager should absolutely be accorded a fair trial — something neither he nor many of his defenders think Walter Scott deserved. All I’ve been trying to do is to head off a few of the false “facts” that the Slageristas keep trying to insert into the narrative.

          amwick in reply to Amy in FL. | April 13, 2015 at 2:23 pm

          Facts will be presented at the trail, if this goes past a Grand Jury… and I know about the poor ham sandwich and what a prosecutor can do… but the Grand Jury is still a wild card.

          heyjoojoo in reply to Amy in FL. | April 13, 2015 at 6:35 pm

          I see racist commenters too. The ones who tend to always “blame the white officer” versus the ones who do not. It is sickening.

      Char Char Binks in reply to Amy in FL. | April 13, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      I never wanted Slager to be a hero, but the evidence is pointing that way. Scott wasn’t an “unarmed 50-year-old man running away from a police officer”. He doesnt get to be called “unarmed” when he grabbed the officer’s weapon and used it against him. The video shows Scott on the ground fighting Slager WHILE ON TOP. Slager is the only one who got tased, and that happened a split second before he duly shot Scott. He couldn’t pursue him, because he’d just been tased. Scott was a dangerous, fleeing felon, who got more than he bargained for.

        Slager is the only one who got tased, and that happened a split second before he duly shot Scott.

        Evidence? And please don’t quote the people whose speculation has already been wrong as to so many aspects of this case.

          Also, and I’m tired of pointing this out, if he wasn’t “unarmed”, why did An Hero Slager have to plant a weapon on him…?

          amwick in reply to Amy in FL. | April 13, 2015 at 2:17 pm

          and the planted weapon was?? You forgot to mention that he also planted dna and fingerprints.. I mean he would have to do that right? What good is a drop without fingerprints?? Now if the taser comes back clean, with no Scott fingerprints, then it looks bad..

          Char Char Binks in reply to Amy in FL. | April 13, 2015 at 3:50 pm

          Santana’s video shows them fighting on the ground, with Scott on top, even though his story is that Slager was in control the entire time. I’d hardly call being on the bottom in a street fight being “in control”. That’s in the video, as are the wires seemingly connected to Slager’s leg and/or torso. The video never once shows Slager with the taser in his hand. If he had been tased, he wouldn’t have been able to pursue Scott on foot, and it would also mean Scott was in commission of of a violent felony, making him a perfectly acceptable target.

          Scott wasn’t “in commission of of a violent felony” when Slager executed him. He was running away, unarmed.

Seems like the rumor regarding “planting evidence with the taser” has been grabbing traction. Is there any word on what was dropped next to the subject’s body?