US cop charged with murder after traffic stop

World Today

From the Charleston County, S.C., Sheriff’s Office, this photo shows Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Slager has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a black motorist after a traffic stop. North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey told a news conference that Slager was arrested and charged Tuesday after law enforcement officials saw a video of the shooting following a Saturday traffic stop. (AP /Charleston County Sheriff’s Office)

The case has drawn national and international attention. A police officer in the southern US state of South Carolina has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a motorist after a traffic stop. A cell phone video surfaced showing the officer shooting a man in the back multiple times with his firearm, as the apparently unarmed black male in the video is shown running away in the other direction. ↓CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE VIDEO↓

The police officer, Michael Thomas Slager, a white patrolman for the North Charleston Police Department, made a traffic stop when authorities say the victim, Walter Lamar Scott of Charleston, was shot after the officer already hit him with a stun gun.

Police officer charged with murder in South Carolina

In this April 4, 2015, frame from video Walter Lamer Scott appears to be running away from City Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager, right, in North Charleston, S.C. Slager was charged with murder Tuesday, hours after law enforcement officials viewed the dramatic video that appears to show Slager shooting a fleeing Scott several times in the back. (Frame grab from video/ New York Times)

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey told a scrum of reporters that city Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager was arrested and charged Tuesday. The charges were filed less than an hour after the Mayor Summey and police Chief Ed Driggers obtained the video appearing to show Slager shooting Scott in the back as Scott ran away, officials said. Slager’s attorney released a statement Monday saying the officer felt threatened and that the motorist was trying to grab the officer’s stun gun. North Charleston Police said Patrolman Slager was arrested by officers of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Sources include: Associated Press, New York Times, Social Media

Analysis of the cellphone video

Surely to stay an integral part of this investigation and trial, analysis of the cellphone video points not only to the images of Michael Thomas Slager apparently shooting Walter Lamar Scott multiple times in the back as he ran away, but also to some isolated frames appearing to show the officer planting something near Lamar Scott as he lay on the ground face down. National reporter for the LA Times, Matt Pearce, retweeted a New York Times analysis of the video.

Watch the New York Times’ analysis of the cellphone video:

The LA Times’ Matt Pearce also added:

Walter Lamar Scott was pulled over by Michael Thomas Slager for a broken tail light on his car. Reports say that Michael Thomas Slager, the arresting officer, said he feared for his life after a scuffle for one of his weapons. In the video, the officer can apparently be seen checking the vital signs of Walter Lamar Scott as he lay face down, totally still, in handcuffs after being shot multiple times. 50-year-old Walter Lamar Scott was pronounced dead at the scene.