Michael Slager is the former South Carolina police officer who was video taped shooting and killing Walter Scott, an unarmed Black man. The video showed the officer shooting at Scott while he was attempting the run away. The video sparked much controversy because it was clear the officer was no immediate danger as the victim was running in the opposite direction.
Now, Slager is being indicted on charges of depriving Scott of his civil rights, obstruction of justice, and unlawful use of a weapon during the commission of a crime. Slager is set to be tried in state court on these federal charges.
The original video was taped in April 2015 when a bystander recorded the former officer shooting eight shots into the back of Walter Scott, who was initially running from a traffic stop. As soon as the video was made public, many called for the head of officer Slager.
The Justice Department sent out a release the said that if found guilty, Slager could potentially face life in prison and a $250,000 fine. Chris Steward, an attorney for Scott’s family, finds it remarkable that this country is finally indicting an officer and holding him responsible for his police brutality.
This indictment is proving that Black lives do in fact matter, and no death of an unarmed Black person should be in vain. Typically, it’s been seen that the system is not quick to punish their own in these incidents; however, hopefully Slager will face an appropriate punishment for the injustice he brought to his community that day in April.
(Photo: Feidin Santana via AP Images)