A North Charleston officer who previously claimed he shot and killed a suspect in self-defense now faces murder charges, as a newly-surfaced video shows 50-year-old Walter Larner Scott running away from Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager.
Last Saturday, Scott was pulled over for a broken traffic light in West Ashley, South Carolina. According to Slager, Scott attempted to flee the scene before trying to reach for the officer’s Taser. Feeling threatened, Slager deployed his weapon. But a video recorded and submitted by an unnamed bystander, actually shows Scott running away from Slager when eight shots are fired in his direction. Slager repeatedly yells at Scott, who’s laying on the ground, to put his hands behind his back, before handcuffing him.
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On Tuesday, the town’s City Council was informed that Slager will be relieved of his duties in the near future. Mayor Keith Summey confirmed Slager will also be charged with murder.
Although cops are rarely indicted for the use of deadly force, even if they’re caught on film, another South Carolina police officer — in that case, a small town police chief — was indicted for shooting an unarmed black man, late last year.
The video appears to show the officer planting a weapon on the victim.