The South Carolina Police Shooting

I wrestled with my decision to choose this topic as our shoot-the-shit, for this Friday, principally because of the suffering the Scott family is going through. I can’t begin to imagine loosing a sibling under these circumstances considering it could have all been avoided. I guess shit happens. However, the reason I chose to go forward is because I’m sick and tired of the news media rendering verdicts and trying people before investigations are complete.

So, here is our question. Did Officer Slager screw up big time or did he murder Mr. Scott?

Here are the facts as best as we know them.

  1. Officer Slager stopped Mr. Scott for defective equipment, by all measure a routine traffic stop. It’s our understanding that the car did not belong to Mr. Scott, it was something he was planning to buy so he was on a test drive.
  2. Officer Slager walked  away leaving Mr. Scott in the vehicle and went back to his patrol car presumably to:
    1. Get his citation book.
    2. Run Mr. Scott’s license.
    3. Run the vehicle registration.
  3. Mr. Scott panics, gets out of the vehicle and flees on foot. It’s our understanding that Mr. Scott had an outstanding warrant for failure to pay child support.
  4. Seeing Mr. Scott fleeing, and not knowing why, Officer Slager resorts to his less-lethal tool, a Taser, and Tases Mr. Scott. An eyewitness states that Mr. Scoot was on the ground. The eye witness states that Officer Slager had control of Mr. Scott but we don’t know what he means by “control”. In law enforcement parlance having a suspect under control means the suspect has been cuffed.
  5. Based on the eyewitness’ video, Mr. Scott breaks free from Officer Slager. This could mean the Taser probes were dislodged in a scuffle or did not fully penetrate Mr. Scott’s garments.
  6. Mr. Scott runs away from Officer Slager and does not appear to be a threat to Officer Slager.
  7. Officer Slager, draws his weapon and fires eight shots at the fleeing Mr. Scott killing him.

At no time prior to the tragic shooting does Office Slager search Mr. Scott. In fact, the video evidence released shows that Officer Slager does not have the opportunity to search Mr. Scott. In fact,  Mr. Scott was not searched until after he was shot. So, Officer Slager is confronted with a fleeing suspect that could be armed.  Had Officer Slager given chase with his weapon holstered, or at a low ready, he could have exposed himself to potentially being shot by a fleeing suspect who had not been searched earlier to assess whether he was armed, or not.

Even with video, these scenarios are never black and white they almost always are varying shades of grey. So my message to the media is; allow for the investigation to proceed before you stoke the flames. The Scott family deserves it as does Office Slager.

In our view, Officer Slager had the means to mitigate his own exposure but wrongfully chose to fire on Mr. Scott. Is Officer Slager a murderer or did he really fuck up! Let’s us know what you think, and if you’re a person of faith say a prayer for the Scott Family who sit at home grieving over the tragic loss of a son and brother.

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2 Responses to The South Carolina Police Shooting

  1. Tim says:

    There’s always that extra five minutes of video we never get to see. I’m not picking a side on who is right or wrong but I think that as the chase Pursued the radio would have been a better choice. Maybe the officer did use radio and maybe without being able to search Mr. Scott, Scott might have looked back and the officer thought he had something in his hand. I wasn’t there but at this point you know who he is and where he lives you also have all the back up in the world to go knock on his front door…his vehicle still sits there with what looks like someone in the passenger seat. I don’t think Mr. Scott would have gotten to far with all the support (back up) you have.

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