Walter Scott profile: Coast Guard veteran gunned down by Michael Slager had just proposed to his girlfriend

His family and friends say he was not the sort of man to clash with police

Walter Lamer Scott loved dancing and singing and watching the Dallas Cowboys football team. He had four children and just a few weeks ago, he proposed to his long-time girlfriend.

The 50-year-old was not a man with an entirely unblemished past. Records show he had been arrested up to ten times, mainly for failing to pay child support or else not appearing in court.

But his family and friends say he was not the sort of man to clash with police and if he had been trying to avoid an officer on the day he was killed, he may have been concerned about being detained for an outstanding child care payment.

“When I heard on the radio what they said had happened, all I could think was that everyone would know the truth because I know it did not happen the way they said it happened,” Mr Scott’s brother, Anthony Scott, told CNN.

 

“He had a very good relationship with his children. The older two had a different mother, who is deceased. But he brought them together as brothers and sisters and there was no separation. Now they have lost their father.”

He said that when he saw the video of his brother being shot on Saturday, it appeared clear to him that he was trying to get away from the police rather than get involved in a confrontation.

“When I saw the video he was running for his life - not to be shot down, not to be tasered. I don’t think my brother thought he was going to be shot. I don’t think anyone could imagine that,” he said.

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Slager stands over Scott right after the shooting

Friends of Mr Scott said they believed he had gone out on Saturday morning to buy parts for a Mercedes car he had recently purchased. The Post and Courier newspaper said there was speculation as to whether a set of rims he had installed on the vehicle may have subjected to him from special attention from police.

“He has four children, he doesn’t have some type of big violent past or arrest record,” Chris Stewart, a lawyer for Mr Scott’s family, told reporters. “He had a job, he was engaged. He had back child support and didn’t want to go to jail for back child support.”

Reports said that in addition to the arrests for failing to pay child support, he was detained in 1987 on an assault charge and convicted in 1991 of possession of a club.

Anthony Scott said he last saw his brother three weeks ago when they organised a surprise party to celebrate their parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. The family ate cooked oysters and Mr Scott sang, told jokes and danced with vigour.

“It was a great celebration and a great surprise for my mother,” he told CNN. “She was totally surprised. Now this happened. It’s so tragic, but I want America to know that we want this to stop.”

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