Disclaimer: I am not a legal advisor nor have I studied law extensively in an academic setting.
This is the dash cam that shows the beginning of the conflict between Walter Scott and Michael Slager (ABC News, 2015).
This is the footage showing the end of the conflict between Slager and Scott, which was shot by concerned pedestrian Feidin Santana (HALAK, 2015).
This is Michael Slager’s testimony in regards to the shooting (New York Daily News, 2016).
For more videos from the trial, subscribe to https://m.youtube.com/courtchatter.
With all this, I have one question: What made Walter Scott run out his car?
I think a lot of people had this question when we saw the original footage shot by Santana. And I don’t want to hear from the person who killed him. I would love to know if there was a parking lot security cam at that Advance Auto Part. But where they were parked, it’s more than likely, that they would’ve been outside of its scope.
Scott did not seem to be incompetent. He ran because he saw something I think. And a security cam would’ve been able to prove that. I think that once Scott got out his car the first time, the cop either reached or pulled out his gun. I personally know that cops do that with any sudden movement that occurs when interacting with melanated civilians. It’s a move to reinforce their authority from what I understand.
However, being a black man in the south teaches you that any authority a white person has over you is deadly. This holds true for this case. I think that Scott ran because the adrenaline from fear triggered his fight or flight instincts. He clearly chose flight.
I don’t think he was afraid of being put in jail. I don’t think he was initiating the fight with the officer. I don’t think he even pulled out a taser as Slager stated.
I do know that Slager shot Scott while he was running away (HALAK, 2015). I do know that Slager pulled over Scott for an infraction that could’ve been looked over due to precedence and the law of the state (Siceloff, 2015). I do know that Slager signaled his reasoning with a touch of the brake light (ABC News, 2015). I do know that the jury had only one black person. I do know that Slager was only one vote away from being convicted (McLeod, 2016).
I cannot in good conscience consider a guilty verdict… – Unanimous Juror (McLeod, 2016).
In conclusion, this entire case should serve as a precedence for body cams on every officer in every state. As well, it should serve as a promoter of personal dash cams in the cars of those who are more likely to have negative interactions with law enforcement. As well, it should encourage people to pull over in a crowded area if possible.
I can not say justice was served, but the justice system did its job, protecting and reinforcing white supremacy. The reason Slager is free is because there was not enough evidence to convict him for the actions of which previous officers were acquitted. There has been such a precedence set across this country that proves that resisting law enforcement in any way can lead to the apparently justified murder of that person.
We have seen so many cases where simply not following directions leads to what is considered justified deadly force. This is true in this case. The Juror who couldn’t vote guilty said that they truly believe Slager was in fear for his life (McLeod, 2016). However, I think the biggest issue for them was Scott’s inability to adhere to the supremacy of that white officer. This isn’t justice, this the reinforcement of white supremacy. And I guess that is justice for a country that is upheld and rooted in white supremacy. A country that has given its supremacy protection by legitimizing the authority of a fraternity rooted in the purest forms of racism.
Let me know what you think?
References and What To Read and Watch:
ABC News. 2015. South Carolina: Police Dashcam of Moments Before Shooting (FULL VIDEO). Retrieved from https://youtu.be/Ttyxt3bjq2k
HALAK. 2015. Murder ~ Full Version Walter Scott Police Shooting Caught on Cam ~. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/lBwOyKpEbwU
McLeod, H. 2016. Trial Over Walter Scott Killing By South Carolina Police Deadlocks Over Holdout Juror. Retrieved from http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5841ecffe4b0c68e0480d6e4
New York News Daily. 2016. Michael Slager recalls killing Walter Scott in emotional murder trial testimony. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/ei2PB-yxLjo
Siceloff, B. 2015. Road Worrier: Busted brake light still street-legal in North Carolina. Retrieved from http://www.newsobserver.com/news/traffic/road-worrier-blog/article19755927.html