A South Carolina cop who shot an unarmed black man in the back before apparently planting evidence near his dead body was arrested and charged with murder after graphic video of the shooting surfaced Tuesday.
According to the Post and Courier, the officer—North Charleston Patrolman Michael Slager—told authorities he “feared for his life” when 50-year-old Walter L. Scott took his taser during a traffic stop.
During the foot chase, Scott confronted Slager, according to the statement from the officer’s lawyer. Slager got out his Taser to subdue the man, but Scott took the device during a struggle, the statement said. That’s when the officer fired at Scott several times because he “felt threatened,” it added.
But on Tuesday, video footage obtained by Scott’s lawyers showed a distinctly different chain of events. Via the New York Times:
The video begins in the vacant lot, apparently moments after Officer Slager fired his Taser. Wires, which carry the electrical current from the stun gun, appear to be extending from Mr. Scott’s body as the two men tussle and Mr. Scott turns to run.
Something — it is not clear whether it is the stun gun — is either tossed or knocked to the ground behind the two men and Officer Slager draws his gun, the video shows. When the officer fires, Mr. Scott appears to be 15 to 20 feet away and fleeing. He falls after the last of eight shots.
After telling Scott—who had collapsed—to put his hands behind his back, Slager handcuffs his wrists and jogs back to the spot where they struggled. There, he picks something up off the ground and, a few seconds later, tosses what appears to be the taser on the ground near Scott’s body.