We don't know exactly what happened right after police officer Michael Slager stopped 50-year-old Walter Scott for a broken taillight in North Charleston, South Carolina.
But we do know exactly what happened when Scott tried to runaway — because a bystander captured it on video that millions of us have seen. Officer Slager aimed his gun at Scott's back and fired.
Officer Slager fired eight shots, killing Walter Scott. Then, the shaky video shows Slager placing what might be his taser beside Scott's body — the taser he claimed Scott took from him before the police officer shot him dead.
Peniel Joseph, contributing editor at The Root. He’s founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University, where he is also a professor of history. He tweets @PenielJoseph.
- "The killing of Walter Scott, an unarmed 50-year-old black man fleeing the police after a traffic stop, is the latest example of what appears to be a national assault on black bodies."
- "In the cellphone video captured on Saturday by a bystander, Officer Michael T. Slager of the North Charleston, S.C., police force lifts his pistol and fires off eight quick shots at Walter L. Scott, who is running away from him at a slow clip. Four shots hit Scott from behind; at least one pierces his heart."
- "The police officer who fatally shot his son "looked like he was trying to kill a deer running through the woods," says Walter Scott Sr. That officer, Michael Slager, now faces a murder charge in the death of Walter Scott, who was unarmed and running away from Slager when he was shot multiple times."
This segment aired on April 9, 2015.