South Carolina Officer Is Charged With Murder in Black Man’s Death
WASHINGTON — 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.
The shooting came on the heels of high-profile instances of police officers’ using lethal force in New York, Cleveland, Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere. The deaths have set off a national debate over whether the police are too quick to use force, particularly in cases involving black men.
A White House task force has recommended a host of changes to the nation’s police policies, and President Obama sent Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to cities around the country to try to improve police relations with minority neighborhoods. SOURCE
My friends, any of you that know me already know this; I am about as Pro-Police as it can get. I would love to believe that our Officers are all Saints and top shelf operators that always follow the rules, work by the book and never get stupid.
Then reality kicks in.
By far, American Police Officers are the finest in the world but there is always that *one bad apple* and apparently now former Officer Michael T. Slager has proven himself to be one of those kind.
I watched the video and what I saw was a Police Officer firing, repeatedly, on what turns out to be an unarmed Black man, shooting him in the back and killing him.
Slager has claimed that he and Walter L. Scott *tussled* during a traffic stop and that Scott had taken Slager’s Taser. All that is for the Courts to hash out but this video is damning for Slager and ANY claims he may have.
Protests began within hours of the murder charge against 33-year-old Michael Thomas Slager, a five-year veteran of the city’s police force.
“I have watched the video. And I was sickened by what I saw. And I have not watched it since,” Police Chief Eddie Driggers said. SOURCE
In MY opinion, Chief Driggers has done everything possible to put a lid on this heinous act of violence. Unlike some recent Police involved shootings there is specific evidence to indicate that Officer Slager not only acted inappropriately but did engage in an act of what appears to be cold-blooded murder.
I know; innocent until proven guilty but the evidence is overwhelming, but regardless the facts, the Black community is all *up in the air* with their *No Justice, No Peace* mantra, even though the reactions of the Department were swift and decisive.
You can’t make some people happy no matter what you do I guess.
Now it seems that the BIG question is; why couldn’t he shoot the guy? He was a fleeing criminal wasn’t he?”
When can police use lethal force against a fleeing suspect?
“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.
So, there you have it; the actions of a, for lack of a better word, BAD Police Officer, the reactions of the neighborhood that is all too ready to hit the streets and burn down the town, the Department overall and a brief lesson on shooting a fleeing suspect.
Everyone needs to take a step back on this one, take several very deep breaths, get their heads together and let the Justice System handle this one.
The Blacks want justice? Well here’s a surprise for some of them, and maybe a few White folks too; so do the BLUE people, as in Police Officers, The Thin Blue Line, ones that are outraged at the actions of this Officer.
Additionally: Officer who shot man had prior excessive force complaint