A white South Carolina police officer is facing murder charges after a video showing him shoot an unarmed Black man went viral. Although Officer Michael T. Slager initially claimed that he shot 50-year-old Walter L. Scott following a scuffle, the video shows a much different story; as Slager is seen shooting the man 8 times in the back after he tried to flee while handcuffed. The former officer is also allegedly seen planting evidence near the victim’s body, leaving many to wonder just how this case would have progressed had a bystander not been taping that day.
Mayor of North Charleston Keith Summey announced the charges Tuesday evening, as authorities investigate just how a routine traffic stop turned into a homicide. The case adds another page to the growing dialogue on police brutality aimed at minorities, as the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner still weigh heavily for some.
Said Summey during a news conference, “If you make a bad decision, I don’t care if you are behind the shield or a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision.