TheBlaze posted a story earlier this week about a South Carolina cop charged with murder after shooting a black man in the back.
North Charleston Officer Michael Slager shot and killed 50-year-old Walter Scott following a traffic stop last Saturday. A video of the incident published by the New York Times showed Scott trying to run away as Slager fired eight rounds. Slager was arrested and charged for Scott’s death Tuesday.
Here's what some readers of TheBlaze had to say about the incident:
Running, if you can call it that, and getting shot in the back, and didn’t lay a hand on the cop. Yes he’ll be convicted and rightly so.
The part where the officer drops the stun gun next to the shot guy on the ground is going to be a BIG issue too.
Tampering with evidence by a cop is VERY bad when provable and prosecuted.
He’s toast. I’d like to thank the person who took that video and turned it in.
Clearly this cop needs to pay dearly for unspeakable wrongdoing and a clear attempt to cover it up.
There is a disconnect and lack of trust between a lot (but not all) people, both in the law enforcement community and general citizenry
I wish I could think of a better solution, but the best one seems to be bodycams for cops and for citizens to film police doing their duties.
This video is going to take care of that bad cop; I am not certain it would happen if there was no video.
A bad cop with rocks for brains. Eight bullets pumped into a guy struggling to get away after a broken brake light? For good measure police departments across the board need to take a good hard look at their psych test screening process. Someone sure dropped the ball. Of course there won’t be any accountability for whomsoever gave the test, but the system needs to be reevaluated. What a waste. What a total, stupid waste!
It appears this cop is one cold-blooded idiot.
When convicted, he should get the maximum penalty allowed. Once donning a uniform and badge, an officer should, at the very least, own up to his mistakes. No one is perfect, and justice should be rendered regardless, but covering up makes the harshest penalty a necessity.
Yes, this is one case where the video is clear cut.
Firing eight times at a man who's running, and not threatening you with bodily harm or the potential for it, is inexcusable. If someone else had been threatened by the man's actions, possibly; but from what I see, it's murder indeed.
Do the crime, face justice in the courts for it.
Expect the DOJ to come down hard as well and do a civil rights investigation.
Also, where is big-mouth bubba Sharpton? This kind of case is his dream come true for social engineering and extortion tactics.
First of all…I am NOT trying to excuse anything seen on this tape, but I do believe in innocent until proven guilty. I can see what everyone else sees, and it does appear that the officer shot this guy for no good reason. BUT, if we are to be CONSISTENT, the presumption of innocence has to be present. There is a lot of speculation at this point. While that will always be part of the discussion in incidents like this, we must remember that it's just that...speculation.
9:30 he's pulled over.
9:38 he's shot (over two blocks away...having fled the scene…resisting arrest)
The 23-year-old man who caught the LAST 20 seconds on video said (on NBC nightly news) prior to his video starting...that the officer chased him and tackled him and they struggled on the ground but the black man got up and the officer shouted stop (more than once) before HE TAZED him…the perp and the officer again struggled (this is where the tape starts) and the taser is knocked out of the officer's hands…the perp turned and ran again…how long does an officer have to struggle with a chucklehead before he should end it?
For all we know the perp is running to where he keeps a weapon stashed (geocached?)…they were already blocks from the officer’s car (traffic stop, with warrants, assault, felony assault on an officer struggling over his gun/taser). This is an easy one to beat in court…the perp should not have run or struggled with (attacked) the officer doing his job. Tragic for the perp's family to be sure…he would still be alive if only he had acted like a civilized/lawful citizen.
When you pull your weapon as a police officer, you shoot to kill. After 25 years in law enforcement, I still cannot understand why. The guy runs, let him run. Especially if you know who he is as with this case. I can't understand why police officers are so willing to pull and shoot for stupid things like this. Ruin your life, ruin your career, ruin your family, defame the department, and it doesn't stop there. An act like this goes nationwide and affects police no matter what uniform they wear. The inability to “think” before you shoot is a factor in all these shootings by police. You've got to be able to process the information in a split second. If you cannot, you have no business being in law enforcement. Police officers everywhere suffer for an incident like this. Being afraid is one thing — but if you're so afraid that you shoot an unarmed person, it's time to get another job. Compassion and understanding are two essential needs for an officer. Without those, you're a robot who will kill at the drop of a hat. We see it in the news every day. A while back an officer shot a man who was getting his registration from his vehicle because he felt “threatened." People like this have no business in law enforcement.
He shot the guy because he was to lazy to chase him.
After 21 years on the job and two justified shootings, I am naturally inclined to defend the actions of most LEOs unless reliable evidence proves otherwise. It would appear that in this situation, not only does the video evidence show the cop's actions were unjustified, but the apparent “plant” of the object believed to be his stun gun near the victim is clearly a criminal act of “tampering and obstruction” and provides evidence of “intent” after the act. I'm if the second officer reported the “plant” or went along with the subterfuge? I would say this bad cop is going to spend several years behind bars and justifiably so!
As an LEO, I gotta say this is horrendous. This cop DEFINITELY needs to be charged with murder. You do NOT shoot anyone running away unless they are felons and you feel they will cause immediate harm to someone else. There is no excuse, no justification for this officer’s actions, regardless of what happened before the filming started. If the guy DID have the officer's taser, he still can’t shoot the guy until there is intent. We need three things to justify a shooting. Means, opportunity and intent. The guy having the taser is means, being in close proximity is opportunity, but there is not identifiable intent here. If the guy turns around and points the taser at the cop, then it's a justifiable shooting. This is not. Not even close from what I can see.
As a retired police officer, I have been in similar situations a number of times in which suspects have resisted arrest, have wanted to fight and attempted to escape. At no time did I ever consider drawing my weapon and shooting the suspect if he was not armed and had not attempted to cause me bodily harm. I do know that not everything seen on a videotape accurately depicts what happened, especially before the video started being recorded. However in this case it looks pretty clear-cut that this officer had absolutely no reason to fire his weapon. I think it was totally justified to arrest this person and he should stand trial — and if convicted he needs to spend many years in prison. All this did was give a black eye to law enforcement and more ammunition to the cop haters in this country.
This story has been updated.
Follow Dave Urbanski (@DaveVUrbanski) on Twitter