Everything You Need to Know About the Fatal Shooting of Walter Scott

On Saturday morning, unarmed South Carolina resident Walter Scott was fatally shot by Officer Michael Slager, who was arrested yesterday and charged with murder. Here are all the facts you need to know about the tragedy that was caught on camera. [Warning: Story contains graphic images]

Taylor Lewis Apr, 08, 2015

1 of 7 TIME


• Less than a week after the killing, Officer Michael Slager, who shot Walter Scott, was fired from his position. "I have watched the video, and I was sickened by what I saw," North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers said at a press conference. "And I have not watched it since."

• North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey has issued an executive order requiring that body cameras be mandatory for the city's police officers.

• Feidin Santana, who filmed the shooting, appeared on The Today Show and said that he feared for his life. Both police officers and the general public knows where he lives. "What does [Santana] do when the people who are supposed to protect us are the ones that are turned against us?" Santana's lawyer, Todd Rutherford, said on Today.

2 of 7 AP Photo/Courtesy of L. Chris Stewart

• Around 9:30am on Saturday morning, unarmed 50-year-old Walter Scott, a Black man, was pulled over by 33-year-old Officer Michael Slager, a White man, for a broken taillight in North Charleston, S.C. 

• African-Americans make up 47 percent of the city's population, compared to Whites, who make up 37 percent. According to the most recent information from the Department of Justice—which was released in 2007—the police department is 80 percent White.

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• According to police reports, Scott fled after being pulled over and ran into a grassy lot.

Witness video shows Slager, who said that he feared for his life after Scott ran away with his Taser, firing eight bullets. The video doesn't show the alleged scuffle with the stun gun leading up to the shooting.

• Scott collapsed face down soon after Slager shot him. A coroner later reported that he had been hit five times: once in the ear, once in the rear and three times in the back.

4 of 7 AP Photo/Courtesy of L. Chris Stewart

• After Scott fell, Slager calmly walked over to Scott, who was unresponsive, and handcuffed him. A second officer then appeared at the scene and ordered a medical kit.

• As the second officer is standing over Scott, Slager goes to an object that had fallen from his belt, walks back to Scott and tosses it near his body. It is unclear whether it was the alleged Taser that he said Scoot took.

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• Slager claims that he performed CPR, but according to the video, no one administered medical attention. Before the ambulance arrived, there was a total of three officers present, one of whom had fetched a medical kit.

• Scott's brother Anthony said that when he arrived at the scene, officers told him that his brother was dead, but wouldn't disclose what happened.

6 of 7 Charleston County Sheriff's Office

• Three days after the shooting, Slager was arrested and charged with murder. North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey announced the charges last night. "When you're wrong, you're wrong," he said at a press conference. "And if you make a bad decision, I don't care if you're behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision."

• The Scott family lawyer, Chris Stewart, said that the family believes that Scott was fleeing because he owed back child support for one of his four children.

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• At a press conference yesterday, Stewart announced that the family was overjoyed that the officer would be held accountable. "It brought a short sense of relief and joy that the distance that we have to travel to try and get justice was beginning and that for the first time in a long time, an officer was going to be charged for something like this," Stewart said at a press conference as Scott's mother wept and thanked the Lord for justice.

• His family, who has asked the public to remain calm and peaceful during the investigation, has filed a civil lawsuit against both the North Charleston Police Department and the state of South Carolina. South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has launched a probe into the shooting. The FBI and the Department of Justice are also investigating.


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