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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A white police officer was charged with murder Tuesday after he shot and killed a black motorist during a traffic stop in South Carolina. A video showing the encounter captures the officer shooting the man in the back while he’s running away.

North Charleston Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager was arrested and charged after law enforcement officials saw a video of the shooting following a Saturday traffic stop, Mayor Keith Summey told a hastily called news conference.

Authorities say the victim, 50-year-old Walter Lamer Scott of Charleston, was shot after the officer already had hit him with a stun gun. A video of the shooting released to news media outlets shows the officer firing several times at the man’s back while he’s running away. It then shows the man falling down and the officer slowly walking toward him. Although Scott appears to be unresponsive, the officer places him in handcuffs.

Summey said at a news conference that Slager made a “bad decision.”

“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” Summey said. “When you make a bad decision, don’t care if you’re behind the shield or a citizen on the street, you have to live with that decision.”

Slager’s attorney dropped him as a client Tuesday, a day after he had released a statement saying the officer felt threatened and that the motorist was trying to grab the officer’s stun gun.

“This is a terrible tragedy that has impacted our community,” the attorney, David Aylor, said.

North Charleston Police said Slager was arrested by officers of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson said the Federal Bureau of Investigation will also investigate the shooting.

At the news conference, North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers confirmed the suspect was shot as he was running away from the officer.

“I have been around this police department a long time and all the officers on this force, the men and women, are like my children,” he told reporters, his voice cracking with emotion. “So you tell me how a father would react seeing his child do something? I’ll let you answer that yourself.”

A woman who answered the phone at Scott’s residence identified herself as the victim’s niece but did not give her name. “That’s great. That’s great,” she said, when told about the murder charge, then hung up.

North Charleston is South Carolina’s third-largest city and for years battled back from an economic slump caused by the closing of the Charleston Naval Base on the city’s waterfront in the mid-1990s.

But now the city has bounced back in a big way, largely in part to the huge investment by Boeing, which has a 787 aircraft manufacturing plant in the city and employs about 7,500 people in South Carolina, most of them in North Charleston.

The shooting occurred as heightened scrutiny is being placed on police officer shootings, particularly those that involve white officers and unarmed black suspects. A grand jury declined to indict Ferguson, Missouri, officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown last August, leading to nationwide protests.

In a separate case in South Carolina, a white police officer who shot a 68-year-old black man to death last year in his driveway was charged Tuesday with a felony: discharging a gun into an occupied vehicle. A prosecutor previously tried to indict North Augusta officer Justin Craven on a manslaughter charge in the February 2014 death of Ernest Satterwhite. But a grand jury instead chose misconduct in office, which is a far lesser charge.

Craven chased Satterwhite for 9 miles beyond city limits to the man’s driveway in Edgefield County. After Satterwhite parked, the officer repeatedly fired through the driver-side door, prosecutors said. The 25-year-old officer faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the gun charge.

Associated Press writer Tom Foreman Jr. contributed to this report from Charlotte, N.C.

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47 thoughts on “South Carolina Police Officer Charged With Murder Of Unarmed Motorist [VIDEO]

  1. I know the mother of the victim is a Saint ,I know she forgave this piece of Cop maggot . But I won’t I am for and believe in “An Eye For An Eye” …. Kill the piece of trash …Nuke The Maggot.. Quit Wasting Taxpayers $$$$$$$$

  2. finally they charged one of those SOB’S once they indict a few more the rest will finally get it. They are used to saying I feared for my life and that is good enough. If black officers were shooting white people this sh-t would have stopped along time ago. They would have indicted every black officer justified or not

  3. Lisam on said:

    I wonder what the racist that believe everything the cops say have to say about this. People with common sense know that unarmed men aren’t all of a sudden going after armed cops. It’s so sad how many murders are still out there supposedly protecting and serving us.

    • My reparation is to kill the bastard slowly bit by bit let by hanging over a boat surrounded by hungry Gators lowering and let the gator feed on him alive piece by piece while I drink Cold Buds … I will gladly take this piece of garbage and kill him for free

  4. This murderer should be locked down (not up, but down) for the rest of his sorry ass life in general population with other criminals who know who he is. That would be the same as sentencing him to death, which is what he deserves.

  5. This needs to stop. They meaning white cops value a dogs life over a black human being. Disgraceful. I’ve been saying a lot of these rascist cops are probably the kkk just in suits and ties and uniforms

  6. americanize. on said:

    Good they caught this racist devil on tape murdering a unarmed black man for a broken tail light.But justice has not been served until this murderer is locked up.

    • Kill The Bastard ..Why lock him Up? Why TFCK should You and I spend our hard earned money to keep this peice of crap alive FCK IT Nuke Him

  7. Booker T. Williams, Jr. Ed.D. on said:

    “The Ugly Color of Race In America” by Dr. Booker T. Williams. This book address the issue of the ugliness of racism in America. The murder of Mr. Scott is a significant example of a racist mindset of a large segment of our society. We are witnessing a modern day Holocaust in African American neighborhoods.

  8. Doris on said:

    This citizen was proactive in getting excellent evidence ! We all need to become proactive in getting Justice for innocent people when dealing with law enforcement ! Keep those cell phones out and a watchful eye !

  9. Glad this suspected White Supremacist got “caught”. Anything less than 20 years in prison will be a disgrace. Maybe he won’t make it to prison. We can only keep hope alive.

    He thought he was doing his job because he was told there will be no talking back to an officer (Garner), no running (brother in SC), no hiding (Martin), no swinging (Brown) and certainly no loud music. He was told the penalty for doing any of those is death to the Black man.

  10. Steaven on said:

    It’s a shame in the year 2015 that we still have to go through this crap being a black man in this country. When a black man gets pulled over by the police because his back brake light was out. I don’t know what was said to Mr. Scott to make him run a way from the police officer in fear for his life and then gets shot down like a wild animal makes no sense to me what in the hell the world coming to. And every time you hear one of these politicians say we want to bring America back like it used to be you better think about that. I know that all police officers aren’t bad but they know the bad police officer and if they don’t do anything about this themselves then the same thing contains a happen over and over again. It’s a sad sad sad day in this country that black people have to continuously go through this (I want to use some other words but I don’t curse).

    • specialt757 on said:

      “Authorities said Scott was shot after the officer had already hit the man with a stun gun after a traffic stop Saturday that began over a faulty brake light.” I just can’t even wrap my mind around this, totally senseless, there is no excuse this cop can give for killing this man. If you look at the video closely you will see the officer throw something to the ground near Mr. Scott’s body (I believe the stun gun) around 1:31 seconds, and mind you after the second officer was already on the scene. What a piece of trash, no regards for this man’s life.

  11. I’ve been saying this for a LONG TIME! African American neighborhoods need to be saturated with devices that can take quick pictures or clips. This is good not only for police conduct but also for the
    fools we live with in the neighborhood. I agree this is a cut and dry case but always remember this-
    when African Americans are ‘in charge’ like being President-there are people that will act up and do the wrong thing. Who u married to. LOL

  12. Linda on said:

    The only reason this POS is being charged with MURDER is because a civilian took a photo of the incident with their cellphone. If not for that, no one would have known about it because nothing would’ve come of it.

    Now, let’s just wait and see if he is found GUILTY and gets the DEATH PENALTY which he so rightfully deserves!

  13. @Tony,

    Did you notice you did not hear any sirens while the white cop shot this man at 1.09min into the video? Leads me to believe the black cop was there all along..you heard sirens later as other cops arrived on the scene..this is why I belive the black cop was there. And why is it so difficult for blacks to believe that black cops are not complicent in crimes/ murders they see committed against AA? After all, if your a black cop in some of the most racist cities or states in America, the Deep South, you are part of that machine.

    • @Candy,

      The shooting of the victim occurred at 0:20 on the video, not 1:09. You should also note that this was supposedly a traffic stop and there were NO sirens on at the time of the shooting. Sirens are used enroute to a scene and cops normally turn them off upon arrival. The sirens that you heard afterwards were most likely the cops that were on their way to the scene. I am not a local cop, but I am a federal law enforcement officer with 25 years of experience, including being a certified firearms instructor. Based ONLY on what I saw on the video, I could not see it as a justifiable shoot situation; however, I don’t have ALL of the facts. Once again, my point is to wait until ALL of the facts have been gathered before accusing the black cop of protecting the white cop. That is unilaterally unfair to any and all black cops who perform their duties on a daily basis.

  14. Additionally, had this person not recorded this incident, this police officer would stated the usual script: “I was in fear for my life,” and it would have been case closed.

    Thank goodness the witness did the right thing by letting the victim’s family view the video “first,” because had the witness given it to the authorities, the video would have been altered, “lost” or destroyed. God does see “everything.”. Glory to him!

  15. Now, when evil, racist kkkoward police officers start going to jail, just maybe all of these senseless killings of “unarmed” black men will stop! “Who are white people to determine who lives and dies on this earth due to the color of their skin?” Karma is real, white America!

  16. Tammy on said:

    And to think blacks are accused of playing the “race card” called race baiters or race hustlers when they point out injustice. THIS is PROOF of why folks are needed to fight this kind of stuff. I have said when people want to accused someone black of using the “race card”, you better make sure you know that black person situation. If this camera was not rolling, this would be put under “playing the race card” and blacks are just complaining.

  17. Ms Curly on said:

    I am soooo glad this was captured on video. If not for that we would be having a different conversation. It still breaks my heart to think of all the “black men” that were killed for no reason and there was no video. I don’t have a lot of faith in the judicial system when it comes to cops being found guilty, hopefullly I will be wrong this time.

    • specialt757 on said:

      You’re right Ms. Curly, but look at all the videos there are of white cops brutally beating or killing an un-armed black person, from Rodney King to Eric Garner, still no justice. But this right here, can’t be disputed. And I feel you about having little faith that this cop will get off, the one good thing to note is that the police department is not standing behind him.

      • Ms Curly on said:

        I have a grandson that will be 12 this year and I hate to think of what life will be like for him within the next few years. We teach him as much as we can and he knows that if you break the law there are consequences but he also knows about what happened to Treyvon and Eric Garner. Its just not getting any better it happens so much I can’t keep up with it.

  18. specialt757 on said:

    The thing about this dirty dog cop is the guy he shot was slow, he could have ran after him and tackled him to the ground. But no the first thing he thought to do was reach for his gun and shoot this guy in the back 8 times! No matter what he was stopped for, the penalty for “running from the cops” is not punishable by death. This cop is no better than a thug on the streets, he’s just a “tough ass bitch”. He should be denied bail and a public defender should handle the case. He cared absolutely nothing for this man’s life. His mission didn’t come close to protecting and serving. Let’s see how his ass handles jail.

  19. specialt757 on said:

    “Where you at” MacBen, jhuf, nancy cruz and other racist clowns that come out here? Is this killing of an un-armed black man the black communities’ fault too?

    • Mac Ben on said:

      Sorry. I work, so my posts are late. Don’t be a jackass, fucktard! The whole country knows this cop is WRONG! What makes you think I would support such a thing??

  20. redbone1954 on said:

    Thank God that tape surfaced I hate to think what type of lies this cop would have tried to tell if the incident had not been caught on tape.Prayers for the victims family. Shot dead because you owe child support SMH fired 8 shots in this mans back

  21. What was also insane besides this un-armed man being murdered was the black cop watching the entire thing unfold. The black cop handcuffed the man while he was bleeding out..it’s important for blacks in this country to walk the talk..racism cannot be fought if you have blacks that are willing and complict in covering up or covering for bad cops..if black lives matter, they have to matter to black and Latino cops protecting racist cops that would kill them if they weren’t wearing that uniform and badge……it makes them bad cops too.

    • Tony on said:

      Candy, first of all in no way am I defending what the white cop did, but respectfully speaking, what video were you watching? The one I just saw CLEARLY showed the white cop handcuffing the victim after he was shot. In fact the breakdown is as follows:
      • 0:18 – the white cop and the victim first appear on the video and the victim begins to run away from the cop.
      • 0:20 – the white cop fires his first shot.
      • 0:24 – the victim falls to the ground.
      • 0:55 – the white cop finishes handcuffing the victim.
      • 1:11 – the black cop first appears on the video.
      • 1:32 – the white cop drops an object near the victim.
      • 1:55 – the black cop begins his search of the victim for weapons.
      Second, whether you agree with it or not, it is standard operating procedure for cops to handcuff suspects after a shooting AND for them to conduct a search for weapons afterwards. Third, how can you jump to the conclusion that the black cop was “watching the whole thing unfold?” He was not even on camera until AFTER the shooting and handcuffing had occurred. More than likely, he was the first backup officer to arrive in response to the call. For the sake of argument, what if he were on the scene prior to the white cop shooting the victim? The entire shooting incident took less than five seconds from start to finish. Would you expect the black cop to jump in the middle of the fracas? Why not wait to find out what the black cop’s official report was on the incident before assuming that he was protecting the white cop? It’s possible that the black cop’s report, along with the video, is what convinced them to charge the white cop with murder. The video is pretty clear cut that the white cop shot the victim as he was running away and the victim did not appear to be armed, but let’s wait for all of the facts before jumping to conclusions and crucifying the black cop for allegedly “protecting” the white cop.

      • RENO2AC on said:

        You’re dreaming. I’m the sister of a retired detective. The black cop WILL protect the white cop. The “Blue Wall” with its “code of silence” is color blind. It is rare for a fellow officer to go against another fellow officer. If the black officer in this case goes against his fellow officer, he will be ostracized, shunned, and ex-communicated.

      • Tony on said:

        @RENO2AC,

        With all due respect, being the relative of a cop and and being an actual cop are two entirely different things. If you think for one minute that the black cop will cover for the white cop who unjustifiably shot the unarmed victim in the back, then YOU are dreaming. If he does that, then his career is effectively over.

  22. Linda on said:

    Regardless of the fact that this POS shot this young man eight or more times in the back does not mean that this PIG won’t walk if given the right make up of the jury. This happened in South Carolina-
    so look for a predominately White jury. In addition, we all know that other PIGS will no doubt stick up for this turd due to their misdirected “code of silence.”

  23. This is insane. He gunned the man down in cold blood and then tried to lie about it. He should be charged murder and then given the death penalty like anyone else would.

  24. This is a cut and dry case. This police officer’s own lawyer no longer represents him, so what does that tell you? It’s also about time police officers are held accountable for murdering “unarmed” black men.

    George Zimmerman, Darren Wilson, Daniel Panatelo should all be in jail also!

    • @EBBm remember George Zimmerman was not a cop, he was a wannabe cop. He is still getting into trouble and I can’t wait until he gets locked up with some real thugs or finally gets the ass whipping he deserves.

      • specialt757 on said:

        “…finally gets the ass whipping he deserves.” Cam1 I would agree with that but for me, I can’t wait to see GZ die a slow & painful death, an ass whippin’ is just too good for him. Trayvon Martin I’m sure would agree.

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