Police shooting video again raises difficult questions

slager

I’m not going to post the video here — it is available in multiple places for those who wish to watch it. But the screengrab above captures the tragedy of it. Fifty-year-old Walter Scott, pulled over for a broken taillight on Saturday, is shot five times in the back by a North Charleston, S.C. policeman who later claimed that he had fired only because he felt that his life was in danger. That was the police department story until the video above, taken by a passerby, was given to the media.

Police officials also initially described efforts to revive Scott through CPR. The video again tells a very different story. After the shooting, Scott’s body is handcuffed, but officers make no effort to assist or revive him. The video also captures the officer, Michael Slager, 33, apparently rearranging the crime scene by dropping an item next to Scott’s body.

You have to wonder how many times such things have played out in the past without a video to document what really happened — certainly, we’ve already seen too many such videos. You also have to wonder what would have happened in this particular case without visual evidence of what happened. I would like to think that a thorough forensics investigation would have proved that Scott had been shot in the back, multiple times, from a distance at which the officer’s life could not possibly have been in danger. I would like to think that. I’m not sure that I do.

In any event, Slager has now been charged with murder in the case. “We don’t advocate violence,” Scott’s brother said in a family press conference after the video’s release. “We advocate change.”

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454 comments
honested
honested

I took a 'Social Problems' class in College a few decades ago where the Professor (a Judge) made the comment:

33% Of the Police force in any situation are hard working Public Servants deserving the cooperation and trust of the Public.

33% Of the Police force in any given situation are relatively good people who still need intensive training and good supervision but with those resources will do a good job.

and

33% Of the Police force in any given situation do not need to be turned loose on the streets with a badge, a gun and the authority to use it.


Seems very little really ever changes.

naomichang602
naomichang602

How many "justified" police shootings would have been ruled on differently if videos were available to corroborate or contradict the police officer's account. Based on what we've seen when videos are available, we'd have to assume that a lot of so-called justified shootings have been shown to be out and out murder by those sworn to uphold the law. 


I think our president needs to do more to stop this.  Don’t get me wrong - I think Obama is doing a great job in office.  I mean look at his track record…


Dow over 18,000, record corporate profits, 5% growth, best year for jobs since 1999, consumer confidence up, deficit down 60% in 2014, gas prices low, health insurance cheaper than ever ($85/month), car insurance cheaper than ever ($25/month from Insurance-Panda), the 1% starting to be taxed more… all while republicans bleated about Benghazi took pointless votes to repeal the ACA… but when it comes to race relations, I think Obama could be doing more!


I would like for Obama to stop trying to please Iran and Wall Street and start thinking more about civil rights.  His own people are being gunned down in the street and it’s been going on for way too long.


Just looking at this case, I think a black man would flee when he sensed that the white cop was outrageous and the way he was approached for a minor traffic violation made him certain the cop was up to no good. People panic and run.


It's way past time for a change in law enforcement.

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

Man who took video comes forth:


The day after the shooting, Feidin Santana said he approached the victim’s brother, who was standing in the spot where Walter Scott had been gunned down.

"I have something to share with you," Santana told Walter’s brother, Anthony, according to the Los Angeles TimesSantana said he started recording after he heard the Taser gun.

"I remember the police had control of the situation," Santana told NBC’s Lester Holt. "He had control of Scott. And Scott was trying just to get away from the Taser."

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/national/man-who-took-video-sc-police-shooting-speaks-out/nkqFs/


JamVet
JamVet

For cops like this we need to bring back public hangings..

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Off topic but....you may not like Rand Paul, you may despise his political stances, but, you got to admit...he's not going to be pushed around by the press.  Which will work against him in the end, of course.

Fly-On-The-Wall
Fly-On-The-Wall

@DownInAlbany  Some of what Rand said was interesting, the rest was regular GOP, fire up the base talking points.  If he were elected I still wouldn't trust the situation because more than likely he'll have a republican congress like W did and we saw how that worked out.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

The cop got charged with murder. End of story. 


If the progs on here spent 10% as much time concentrating on reducing black on black murder as they do on the very rare unjustified police shootings they could probably solve black on black murder. 

Peachs
Peachs

There is a gorilla in the room and he is dressed in a police uniform.

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

@GaBlue --  From your link:


The difficulty we face is that police officers are becoming increasingly thin skinned, less restrained in dealing with the public, and more inclined to conceive every word, gesture, or motion as a threat. In an ideal world, police would recognize that, as public servants, they are rightfully subject to recording and surveillance when carrying out their public duties. Unfortunately, this is far from an ideal world.


I've been saying similar things for a while.  If you're too scared to be a police officer, if every time someone reaches for their wallet puts you in fear for your life, if a person questions your right to do as you please and you take it as an insult to your authority; perhaps being a police officer is not for you.  Maybe its time to become a Janitor.

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

@DebbieDoRight @GaBlue  Excellent. As the wild shawnee mrsstsimons via me posted earlier, an experienced therapist can identify this tetrad of behaviors, and exclude a psychologically unsuited candidate before hiring, or before something like this happens.

Cupofjoe
Cupofjoe

"Like you, I'm tired of seeing people harassed and mistreated by bad cops"

classic-  I am tired of bad surgeons, bad teachers, corrupt politicians, bad architects, and bad middle relievers really irk me.  What we should do is legislate away all forms of "badness".

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Guess I got under "mess with"'s super sensitive skin.

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

Boston Bomber Convicted -- as if there was really any doubt about that one.........

gotalife
gotalife

Corruption is causing major problems in some countries.


Look for the Arab spring to crank back up but not in the ME.

Visual__Cortex
Visual__Cortex

@gotalife

Corruption is causing a major problem in the USA to. The GOP is more corrupt than ISIS on steroids.

straker
straker

Brosephus - "Black-on-Black crime has been trotted out and beaten like a government mule"


Here's a tip.


Trying to pooh pooh a far more serious situation than White cops shooting Black men will NOT make it go away.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@straker 
And exactly what kind of Black on Black crime took place in this instance?  Pooh pooh that one since I'm sure you've already beat that mule into powder.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

...and now I see the namejacker put an extra underscore in there. So very clever.

NWGAL
NWGAL

I have great sympathy for the police. A close relative worked in law enforcement and watching the impact of violence and desperate people on him year after year was incredibly sad. This job should have mandatory psychological counseling at regular intervals to assess suitability for continuing in the job. Anger management classes at the least. But all of this requires money and taxes. No one is willing to pay adequate wages much less the training and health care costs.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

I've been namejacked below. I did not post that business about guns a half hour ago.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Imitation is the highest compliment.

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

I'm sure we will now see laws trying to make it illegal to video tape police officers. Until then, keep your smart phone handy.

GaBlue
GaBlue

@Finn-McCool

I remember reading about it happening before, so I just did a search on "arrested for filming police." An alarming number of news stories were presented.

fedup52
fedup52

This isn't Australia.  If you like their laws so much...

++++

This country is built from ideas borrowed from other countries.  If you don't change your just a dinosaur.

Normd
Normd

Off topic perhaps, but I think that Boston Bomber kid is going to do what U. Kentucky couldn't do...and that's go 30 and zip...He's already 16 and 0 for guilty.

gotalife
gotalife

The trial for the Boston bomber is over and found guilty to prove the President right on closing gitmo and trying them in court.


The only thing stopping that is  bush cheney torture.


Prosecute torture now and send bush and cheney to prison.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@gotalife You type some stupid stuff on here.  You seemed to have outdone yourself on this one.

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

well the Republi-fax orders must have been sent out early this morning -  radio silence on the No 1 story in Murica by the AM raydio clowns - it didn't happen. just kidding about the Republi-fax I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

gotalife
gotalife

Lower gas prices will continue through the summer.


Thanks President Obama.


Road trips.