Walter L. Scottt, age 50, died from eight gunshot wounds in the back after being stopped on April 4, 2015, by white North Charleston, South Carolina Officer Michael T. Slager. The victim was stopped for a broken taillight on his Mercedes Benz but ran away from the officer and was chased into a grassy lot. According to police reports, the officer feared for his life because the man had taken his stun gun in a scuffle. Police reports also say that the officers on the scene performed CPR and first aid to Scott after shots were fired. Scott’s brother, Anthony, said he believed Scott had fled from the police on Saturday because he owed child support.
A video, taken by a bystander (shown above), showed completely different accounts of the incident. The video shows Scott running away from the officer with an electric Taser wire connected to his body. The officer then fired eight shots at the victim’s back. Once the victim was down, the officer reports shots fired and that the suspect took his Taser. The officer then handcuffs the injured man, walks to retrieve the stun gun from where the shots were fired, and proceeds to drop the Taser near the victim’s body. The video also shows no evidence of officers performing CPR on Scott; He remained faced down and handcuffed as further law enforcement arrived on the scene.
Though the incident is still under investigation, Officer Slager was arrested and charged with murder on Tuesday, April 7, after the video surfaced.