Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Still More Questions Remain in S. Carolina after Police Killing White Officer Shown Shooting Black Man Charged with Murder, Fired from Force

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Still More Questions Remain in S. Carolina after Police Killing White Officer Shown Shooting Black Man Charged with Murder, Fired from Force

Article excerpt

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. - A white South Carolina police officer has been fired after being charged with murder for shooting a black man in the back as he fled, but questions remained on Wednesday about some details of the killing that was recorded on video by a witness.

The shooting occurred on Saturday in North Charleston, a town of about 100,000 people, nearly half of whom are black, but it gained national media attention on Tuesday when the video became public.

The incident was recorded by a man identified by NBC News as Feidin Santana. In an interview with the network, he said the victim, Walter Scott, 50, had been hit by the officer's stun gun before fleeing to avoid further stun gun fire.

The video, which Mr. Santana said he gave to Mr. Scott's family, shows a brief scuffle between Mr. Scott and police Officer Michael Slager, 33, before Mr. Scott runs. Officer Slager is then seen taking aim with a handgun before shooting eight times at Mr. Scott's back.

"He made a bad decision," Mr. Santana said of the officer. "You pay for your decisions in this life. I think Mr. Scott didn't deserve this."

The shooting was the latest in a series of deaths during police encounters in the United States that have led protesters to decry racism and police brutality.

Chief Eddie Driggers of North Charleston police said at a news conference that he did not know whether officers had performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Mr. Scott, who had been stopped by police for a broken brake light on his vehicle.

With Mr. Scott slumped face down on grass, Officer Slager is seen placing him in handcuffs and then walking back to a spot near where he opened fire. The video then shows him appearing to pick something up, return to Mr. Scott, and drop it next to him.

Chief Driggers and North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey did not answer a question about the object.

"There are questions that I have in my mind that I can't answer right now," Chief Driggers said. No other officers have been disciplined, officials said.

According to a police report, Officer Slager told other officers that Mr. Scott had taken his stun gun from him. …

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