Let’s start with Officer Michael T. Slager’s official statement as it stood on April 6th, 2015. According to Mr Slager, he noticed a Mercedes Benz with a non-functioning brake light. As a result he stopped the cruiser behind the vehicle that had pulled into the parking lot at an Advance Auto auto parts store. He stated that the suspect, 50 year old Walter Scott ran off. According to his statement, Ofc Slager chased the suspect down an alley, at which point the suspect turned and started to fight with Ofc Slager. Ofc Slager stated that he deployed his taser, which the suspect wrestled away from him, which caused Ofc. Slager to fear for his life, pull his service weapon and shoot the suspect. According to official reports, other officers then performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
Now, let’s review the video tape. Although the video starts at the point that Mr. Scott runs, we see him turning from Ofc Slager while what sounds like a taser being deployed can be heard. We see Mr Scott turn and run appearing to trail wires from said taser. Ofc Slager calmly pulls out his service weapon, sets his feet, and fires 8 times into the back of the fleeing man. He then calmly walks over to the prostrate Mr Scott, orders him to put his hands behind his back, places Mr Scott’s hands behind his back and cuffs him. He then jogs over to where his taser is lying on the ground, walks back to Mr Scott and drops it next to the body. A backup officer arrives, appears to make a cursory check for a pulse, and then searches Mr Scott. No attempt at first aid is made at this time. Mr Scott continues to lay on the ground fully face down. Ofc Slager then checks for a pulse, but does not attempt to render any aid. After a second unit arrives, over 3 minutes after the shooting, those officers appear to attempt to provide aid.
The account provided by Ofc. Slager does not even nearly approach the actual video evidence that is to surface two days later, and results in Ofc. Slager being removed from his position and charged with Murder. Had there been no video, Ofc. Slager would probably be on desk duty, or paid leave for a few weeks, and then returned to duty.
Video of shooting:
This is not ofc Slager
s first issue.
He was accused of excessive force in 2013 when a man said Slager shot him with a Taser for no reason. In September 2013,Slager responded to a North Charleston home to investigate a burglary. When the resident victim opened the door for Slager wearing boxer shorts, Slager threatened to use a Taser against him if he didn’t come outside. When he stepped outside, the man said Slager “Tased (him) for no reason and … slammed him and dragged him,” A witness to that incident, Yolanda Whitaker,reported that Slager pulled the man, Mario Givens, out of the home in his boxer shorts and then shot him with his Taser.