Shooting of Walter Scott continues a Persistent Pattern

Many of us have now seen the horrific video of Walter Scott being gunned down by North Charleston police officer Michael Slager.  Walter Scott was running away from the police officer when he was shot at least five times in the back by this officer.  Most officers take an oath to serve and protect citizens like myself.  In this situation, Mr. Scott's life was taken away by an individual who obviously used his time at the range to perfect his shooting style and deadly aim.  He calmly pumped the bullets from his taxpayer funded weapon into a father of four who was running for his life.

One thing that I did not notice in the telephone video that was recorded by a concerned citizen was any blood.  Even when he zoomed in on the callous police officer who handcuffed Mr. Scott, there seemed to be no blood.  Officer Slager picked something up from an initial encounter with Mr. Scott and then went and dropped it next to his body.  There was no recorded attempt to offer first aid and a nonchalance that seemed to border on arrogance.  Mr. Scott was motionless on the ground and Officer Slager was trying to create a scenario where he had just avoided a life threatening encounter with a crazed criminal.

Mr. Scott's Mother was horrified by the video of her son being gunned down.  Amazingly, she already expressed a willingness to forgive the officer for ending her son's life.  The family has an African American attorney who eloquently expressed the fact that if there were no video that this would just be another example of a person of color being gunned down in the streets.  I can understand how some police officers can be on edge while performing their jobs.  It is sometimes a very thankless job.  The weapons that some citizens have are more powerful than ever.  Most just want to get home to their families in one piece.  What causes so many to cross the line and use excessive force as they carry out their jobs?

Office Slager was fired immediately by his superiors in this instance.  He currently sits in a prison in North Charleston.  He was filmed completing his dastardly deed by a citizen who noticed a scuffle going on between an officer and a citizen.  One of the concerns expressed by many observers is why the officers dashboard cameras were not working.  My concern is why were they so far from the victims car.  It seems to be a Mercedes Benz.  The officer had to know upon stopping Mr. Scott the address of the driver.  Even if he ran away successfully, his car was effectively impounded and he would have been on the hook for towing and storage fees.  There was no need for a murder to be committed.

Some concerned citizens have already set up a defense fund for Officer Slager.  A report indicates that he graduated from this area.  I wonder what his upbringing was like in South Jersey.  Also, what reason could the people who contribute to his defense fund use as the basis for donating to this cause?  Was the officer losing a deadly fist fight?  Did a fleeing man pose a lethal threat.  Emotions will continue to run high as this case plays out.  Not one officer in recent highly publicized shootings has been convicted of any crimes.  Even with the video of Eric Garner being choked to death, there was no prosecution by a grand jury.  As Walter Scott's family prepares to lay him to rest, I wonder how this case will proceed.  The lives of people of color are being snuffed out on a regular and persistent basis in this country.

P.S. The murder of LaQuan Mcdonald in Chicago in October 2014 further illustrates the point of this blog.  Police feel that it is open season to murder African Americans.

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