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SC Cop Shoots Unarmed Black Man, Dash Cam Video Released

policeOn April 9, a South Carolina police officer by the name of Michael Slager was charged with first-degree murder after fatally shooting an unarmed man. The victim, 50-year-old Walter Scott, sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the back of his body – a manner of death which was deemed a ‘homicide’ by the Charleston County Coroner.

South Carolina officials released a dash cam video from Slager’s patrol car that shows interactions between the officer and Scott during a traffic stop, as well as Scott running away from the vehicle, out of range from the camera. The footage did show a second of apparent struggle between the two, after which Slager contends that Scott attempted to take his Taser gun. As Scott ran away from Slager and his car, the video shows the policeman pulling his weapon and firing eight times. The dash cam video also showed Slager dropping a dark object next Scott’s body, which may or may not have been the Taser.

The disturbing video has triggered a backlash from authorities and the public alike. How could an unarmed man be shot in the back several times for no justified reason? Police in North Charleston have since terminated Slager and turned the homicide over to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

“This dash cam footage does not change the fact that at the moment the officer shot and killed Mr. Scott — that shooting was completely unjustified. And that is the key point of both the criminal investigation and the civil lawsuit,” said legal counsel for Scott’s family.

Unarmed man killed by SC officer

Here at Ellis Law, our experienced California personal injury attorneys are staunch advocates for victims of excessive force and police brutality, as was the case in the Walter Scott shooting.  Such senseless tragedy is reminiscent of the Ferguson, Missouri case, in which an unarmed black teen was shot and killed by a white police officer.

CNN reports that an eyewitnesses to the Scott murder took video with his cellphone, and later told authorities that he never saw Scott try and get the officer’s taser. When asked why Scott might have run after being pulled over by Slager, the family lawyer says it was likely due to back payments owed on child support and a subsequent bench warrant for his arrest.

“I have watched the video, and I was sickened by what I saw,” Charleston police Chief Eddie Driggers told reporters last week. The Scott family, who is taking legal action, is sickened and saddened by the loss of their son and brother. Slager faces the death penalty or life in prison if he is found guilty for Walter Scott’s murder.

Los Angeles police brutality lawsuit

If you or someone you love has been the victim of police brutality in Los Angeles, Ellis Law is prepared to fight for your rights, and will leave no stone unturned while defending your civil rights. We aren’t afraid to take on the LAPD and hold abusive or violent officers accountable for their actions.  Our legal team leverages more than 20 years of litigation experience to get you the justice you deserve.

For more information about filing a police brutality lawsuit in Los Angeles, please call our offices today at 1-800-INJURED. The consultation is free and our legal fees are waived until you win or settle your case.

  1. CNN.com, Dash cam video shows the moments before South Carolina police shooting http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/09/us/south-carolina-police-shooting/
  2. CNN.com, South Carolina cop shoots unarmed man: A timeline http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/08/us/south-carolina-cop-shoots-black-man-timeline/index.html