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The shooting of Scott comes after a series of high-profile shootings by white police officers involving black men in Ferguson, Mo., Cleveland, New York and a separate South Carolina shooting where a Black man was shot by a white cop while the Black man was simply trying to hand the officer his driver’s license.

A White House task force has weighed in on the national debate about white police officers using excessive force during confrontations with Black men. The F.B.I. and the Justice Department are investigating the shooting. According to police reports, Slager stopped Scott, who was driving a Mercedes-Benz with a broken taillight,  Scott ran away and Slager chased him and fired his Taser, but Scott kept running, according to police reports.

Moments after the struggle, Officer Slager reported on his radio: “Shots fired and the subject is down. He took my Taser.”

The Post and Courier newspaper in Charleston reported that Scott had been arrested 10 times for not paying child support.

“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 The New York Times. “He had a job; he was engaged. He had back child support and didn’t want to go to jail for back child support.”

“All we wanted was the truth,” Anthony Scott, Walter’s brother, told reporters. “I think cops should think twice before firing their weapons….I don’t want to see anyone get shot down the way that my brother got shot down.”

I’ve grown weary of watching the funeral processions for young Black men play out in real time on network television because they were shot to death by white police officers. It upsets me when I hear Black mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers grieving for their slain loved ones while some folks dismiss this crisis as routine occurrences.

Some law enforcement officials will undoubtedly ask why Scott ran from Slager instead of just standing still. Isn’t it possible that Scott actually feared for his life given the number of Black men who have been killed by police recently?

Scott was unarmed, nonviolent, and Slager still shot Scott eight times in the back, killing him within minutes. Now, perhaps, a South Carolina jury may have to decide whether to convict Slager of murder. A murder conviction in the state could lead to the death penalty or up to 30 years to life in prison.

All prospective jurors need to do is watch the video: It appears to be irrefutable evidence.

(Photo: The Associated Press)

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A Charge In Walter Scott Police Shooting – But Will A Conviction Follow?  was originally published on

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