This Is the Defense of the SC Cop Who Killed Walter Scott

Lawyer says unarmed man committed 4 felonies in 45 seconds
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2015 4:42 AM CDT
This Is the SC Cop Who Killed Walter Scott's Defense
This photo provided by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina shows Michael Thomas Slager on April 7, 2015.   (AP Photo/Charleston County Sheriff's Office)

The former police officer facing a murder charge in the death of Walter Scott says video of him shooting the unarmed black man in the back multiple times doesn't tell the whole story. In a jailhouse interview, Michael Slager tells NBC News that he finds it upsetting that "everybody thought I was racist, and I just got out of my car and just shot him in the back for no reason," but the truth is very different and it will come out. His lawyer tells NBC that Slager felt threatened after an alleged tussle for his Taser and that he fired as Scott took off running because he didn't know that he was unarmed and feared he would produce a weapon.

Slager was facing a suspect "who's committed four felonies in the last minute and a half—violently resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, robbing the police officer of his weapon Taser, and using that Taser in attempt to harm him," the lawyer says. The lawyer also claims that the video, which shows Slager apparently dropping the Taser next to Scott's body, only looks suspicious because people see it through "the prism" of other police incidents like the Michael Brown shooting. Slager has a bail hearing tomorrow, and in a court filing a lawyer for the Scott family dismisses as "smoke and mirrors," his lawyers allege that Scott wrested the Taser away from the officer and pointed it at him moments before the shooting, the Post and Courier reports. (Slager was accused of excessive force in 2013.)

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