Michael T. Slager, a 33 year old police officer, has been charged with murder after a video surfaced Tuesday of the officer shooting 50-year-old Walter L. Scott in the back.
Scott, an unarmed black man, tried to run away after a traffic stop. The FBI opened a civil rights investigation Tuesday after video surfaced of Slager shooting Scott 8 times as he attempted to flee on foot.
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 U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement that FBI investigators would work with the State Law Enforcement Division, which typically investigates officer-involved shootings in South Carolina, and the state’s attorney general to investigate any civil rights violations in Scott’s death. North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said during a news conference that Slager had made a “bad decision.”
“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” Summey said. “If you make a bad decision, don’t care if you’re behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision.”
The 9th Circuit Solicitor’s Office will prosecute the felony murder charge. If convicted, Slager would face a penalty of 30 years to life in prison. h/t scaredmonkeys
Celebrities took to Twitter to show their outrage over the shooting.
At this point, the Slager murder seems like a message, a mafia thing, like it’s meant to shut people down or set them off. It HAS TO END
— Joss Whedon (@josswhedon) April 8, 2015