Walter Scott shooting: Rally organised as death of another black man at the hands of a white police officer sparks outrage across the world

Officer Michael Slager shot at 50-year-old Walter Scott eight times

Heather Saul
Thursday 09 April 2015 07:09 BST
A still from the video appears to show Michael Slager shooting Walter Scott as he runs away
A still from the video appears to show Michael Slager shooting Walter Scott as he runs away (Reuters)

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Louise Thomas

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Activists are planning a rally in protest against the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a white police officer, as news of the man’s death continued to provoke outrage globally.

Officer Michael Slager shot 50-year-old Walter Scott in the back several times after reportedly stopping him in North Charleston, South Carolina, over a broken light in his car.

An unidentified passerby filmed the incident from the moment Slager, 33, and Scott appeared to briefly scuffle before Scott began to run away. As he ran, Slager shot eight times at his back. Scott fell to the ground after the eighth shot and Slager was filmed walking towards him, placing his arms in handcuffs, and leaving him face down on the floor for several minutes.

The video then showed him appearing to pick something up, return to Scott, and drop it next to him on the ground. Slager claimed Scott had taken his stun gun, causing him to fear for his life. He was later arrested and charged with murder.

A rally is being held in South Carolina later on Wednesday.

Scott’s death comes at a time of heightened tensions following the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer and the death of Eric Garner, a black man who died after he was put in a chokehold by an officer. A grand jury chose not to indict Officer Darren Wilson over Brown’s death, inflaming tensions even further.

This latest death has sparked an outpouring of grief and rage across social media over what many perceived to be institutional racism.

One of Mr Scott's brothers told a news conference later that the family was grateful the video existed.

"If we didn't see the video, would we know the truth?" said Anthony Scott. "From the beginning all we wanted was the truth. We can't get my brother back but through the process, justice has been served."

North Charleston police chief Eddie Driggers made an emotional statement at the same conference, telling the media: "I have been around this police department a long time and all the officers on this force, the men and women, are like my children. So you tell me how a father would react seeing his child do something? I'll let you answer that yourself."

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