Friday, April 10, 2015

Why Slager Will Walk

Not even a week after Officer Michael Slager shot Walter Scott eight times in the back, we find the campaign to make sure Slager is acquitted in the court of public opinion is on in earnest.

Saturday's traffic stop opens like so many others as Scott was stopped in a used Mercedes-Benz he had purchased days earlier, footage from the patrol car showed. At the outset, it's a strikingly benign encounter: The officer is seen walking toward the driver's window, requesting Scott's license and registration. Slager then returns to his cruiser. On the dash cam video, Slager never touches his gun during the stop. He also makes no unreasonable demands or threats. 
The video also shows Scott beginning to get out of the car, his right hand raised above his head. He then quickly gets back into the car and closes the door. After Slager goes back to his patrol car, minutes later, Scott jumps from his car and runs. Slager chases him. 
What's missing is what happens from the time the two men run out of the frame of dashboard video to the time picked up in a bystander's cellphone video a few hundred yards away. The cellphone footage starts with Scott getting to his feet and running away, then Slager firing eight shots at the man's back. 
"It is possible for something to happen in that gap to significantly raise the officer's perception of risk," Seth Stoughton, a former police officer and criminal law professor at the University of South Carolina. 
Scott was almost $7,500 behind in child support and had been in jail three times over the issue, but no bench warrants had been issued directing officers to bring him in. His family has said that he might have run because he was behind on payments again and didn't want to go back to jail. He last paid child support in 2012, court records show.

All Slager has to do in order to walk is testify that Scott tried to attack him during the period Scott ran from the traffic stop until the cell phone video opens, and that he feared for his life.

No jury will convict him. Not in the murder of a black man, because black men are vermin to be exterminated and shot in the back.  We don't count as human, you see.

Slager will lie, and he will walk.  And he'll quietly be hired back as a police officer somewhere.

And Walter Scott will be dead because he was black.


Professor Fate said...

i would point out that one could ague that his handcuffing a dying man and then walking over to where the Taser had been dropped and then dropping it by the side of the dying man are not the actions of a man in fear for his life, And that we have only his word about the struggle and given the contractions between the video and what he said happened this is going to be one tough sell. The law is very clear about shooting unarmed suspects in the back and any decent lawyer will make that very clear. He could walk but it's going to be a little tougher this time.

RepubAnon said...

No, this one's a bit too egregious. He'll be convicted of manslaughter, like the BART cop who shot the guy at the Fruitvale station in Oakland, CA.

drouse said...

I think that this guy is being thrown to the wolves. In one of the pre-video articles in which they are supposed to make him sound like the savior of America, the best they came up with is that he had never been disciplined and that he "kept a tidy vehicle". Also, no help from the union or association or whatever. He has to hire some glory hungry baby lawyer who bails on him.

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