Friday, April 10, 2015


A South Carolina cop who shot a fleeing man multiple times in the back is charged with murder and fired several hours after a video of the shooting surfaced

By Bob Walsh

PACOVILLA Corrections blog
April 8, 2015

Michael Thomas Slager is a North Charleston, S.C. police officer. He is white. He made a traffic stop of a man who happened to be black. The situation went sideways and it ended up with the motorist, Walter Lammer Scott, 50, dead and Slager facing a flat-out murder charge for his actions.

A video of the shooting (but not the lead-in to the shooting) surfaced yesterday. It showed Scott running away from Slager. Scott’s hands were pretty obviously empty. Slager shot Scott five times in the back as he was running away. It also shows Slager picking up something on the ground, carrying it over to Scott’s body and dropping it on the ground. The speculation is that this object was the Taser.

Within hours of the video being released Slager was arrested for murder.

Slager stated that Scott tried to grab his Taser and he felt threatened. Slager’s lawyer dropped him after he made that statement. The state is handling the investigation at the request of the local authorities. The FBI has invited themselves in.

I am inclined to say that Officer Slager is in very deep doodoo on this one.

The officer’s wife is eight months pregnant. The city has agreed to continue her medical insurance until after the baby is born. The laws in S.C. must be very much different than those in CA as they fired Officer Slager in less than one day.

EDITOR’S COMMENT: I viewed the dash-cam video. There was no physical altercation. After making a traffic stop, Slager walks up to Scott’s car. After a couple of moments, Slager walks back to his cop car and Scott bails out of his car and beat feet. There was a gap between then and the start of the smartphone video which appears to show Scott getting up – probably after having been tased - with Slager standing next to him, then running away again. That’s when the officer opened fire.

SCOTUS long ago ruled that the police do not have the right to shoot a fleeing suspect unless he poses an imminent threat to the officer or if his escape would put the public at serious risk. The video taken by a witness clearly shows the officer violating that SCOTUS ruling.

Slager’s mother said what her son did was so out of character that she could not understand it.

I believe that Slager’s actions were out of character. Accordingly, it is important to ascertain why he shot Scott. Did the victim piss him off? Or was Slager pissed-off for some reason before he started his shift, thereby taking his anger out on the fleeing man? If so, why didn’t Slager's supervisor observe a change in his usual mood when he came to work? It doesn’t take a psychiatrist to see that someone is in a foul mood.

A cop who shows up for work pissed-off is a dangerous cop!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ward Bond played a Sheriff in the movie The Godfathers. Bank robbers ran away on horseback and with the Sheriff and deputies following on a buckboard wagon. The Sheriff shot the water bag the crooks were carrying into the desert. A deputy said, "Sheriff you missed them."

Ward Bond replied, "They ain't paying me to kill folks."

He knew the robbers would have to come out of the desert.

Even though police sometimes have to use deadly force, in general, "They aren't paid to kill folks."