South Carolina charged a local police officer with murder after a video surfaced that shows the cop, who is white, shooting an unarmed black man eight times in the back.
The New York Times and a local newspaper, the Post and Courier, published the graphic video, which was captured by a witness. The shooting occurred on April 4 in North Charleston, South Carolina, the state’s third-largest city. It follows a string of recent incidents in the United States in which police have killed unarmed black men.
The North Charleston police officer, Michael Slager, claimed the victim, Walter Scott, had taken his stun gun. But the video shows Slager firing his stun gun and then, as Scott runs away, firing his gun eight times. By the end of the cascade of bullets, Scott had fallen to the ground. Slager is then seen handcuffing Scott and placing an object, which might have been his stun gun, beside Scott’s lifeless body.
“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” the mayor of North Charleston, Keith Summey, said at a press conference announcing the murder charges, according to press reports. “And if you make a bad decision, don’t care if you’re behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision.”