The Latest: Rally for black man killed by cop draws about 50
The county sheriff whose jurisdiction includes North Charleston attended a rally for a black man who was fatally shot in the back by a white police officer.
Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said he went to the demonstration Wednesday to meet with community members and keep an eye on what was a peaceful protest. His jurisdiction includes North Charleston.
The sheriff said his department started reviewing its policies dealing with minorities after a white officer fatally shot a blak man in Ferguson, Missouri. A grand jury did not bring any charges in that case.
Cannon said he understands that heavy-handed police tactics of the past few decades have fostered mistrust of law enforcement. He thinks investigators would have seen through the officer’s lies without the video, but the video made their job easier.
“Like the family attorney said, once that video came out things moved quickly,” Cannon said.
The North Charleston mayor and police chief are visiting the parents of a black man killed by a white officer to offer their condolences.
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey and Police Chief Eddie Driggers arrived at the home of Walter Scott Sr. and Judy Scott on Wednesday morning. They live in nearby Charleston.
Their son, Walter Lamer Scott, was fatally shot Saturday. North Charleston Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager is charged with murder in the killing. A witness took video of the shooting, showing Slager firing eight times as Scott ran away after a traffic stop.
Earlier, the parents appeared on morning TV shows. Scott Sr. said the officer “looked like he was trying to kill a deer running through the woods.”
The FBI and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are investigating the shooting of a black man by a white police officer in South Carolina.
The agencies will look for whether the shooting amounted to a federal civil rights violation. Proving that an officer willfully deprived an individual of his or her civil rights has historically been a tall burden for federal prosecutors, particularly when an officer uses force during a rapidly unfolding physical confrontation in which split-second decisions are made.
The Justice Department spent months investigating the shooting of Michael Brown last summer in Ferguson, Missouri, but ultimately declined to prosecute Darren Wilson, the officer involvedin that case.
Federal prosecutors have had an easier time making cases against officers who use force as an act of retribution or who can make no reasonable claim that their life was in jeopardy when they took action.
North Charleston Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager is charged with murder in the death of Walter Lamer Scott. Slager fired eight times from behind as Scott ran away after a traffic stop. The incident was caught on video by a witness.
About 40 to 50 people are at North Charleston City Hall, protesting in the shooting death of a black man by a white officer after a traffic stop.
Several people have told stories about police harassment in North Charleston for what they call minor offenses, such expired license tags or marijuana possession.
Muhiyidin Moye says: “There shouldn’t be so many stories. But there are.”
Moye, of the group Black Lives Matter, ran the demonstration with a bullhorn, chanting with the group about the eight shots fired at Walter Lamer Scott as he ran from North Charleston Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager.
Nicole King called herself a friend of Scott’s fiancee and left the rally in tears.
She says: “It was just a traffic stop. It could have been any of us.”
About 30 people have started gathering ahead of before a planned protest at North Charleston City Hall, passing out signs reading “Back turned, don’t shoot,” “Black lives matter,” and “Stop racist police terror.”
The display includes a wood cutout of a man in a hooded sweatshirt with angel wings that was originally left at the site of the shooting of Walter Lamer Scott.
Lance Braye helped arrange the protest for the group Black Lives Matter.
“We have to take a stand on stuff like this,” the 23-year-old Braye said. “We can’t just shake our heads at our computer screens.”
Protesters say North Charlestn police have a habit of harassing black people for small offenses, such as the broken brake light that started the traffic stop preceding Scott’s death. Scott, a black man, was shot by North Charleston Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager, who is white.
Braye says he hopes the video of the incident, taken by a witness whose name hasn’t been released, changes the way police act.
“This needs to be the last case,” Braye said.
After the fatal shooting of a black man by a white police officer _ captured by a witness in a dramatic video _ protests were planned in North Charleston, led by a group formed after the fatal shooting of another black man in Ferguson, Missouri.
A local Black Lives Matter group, formed after Michael Brown’s death, planned its demonstration for Wednesday morning at North Charleston City Hall.
Walter Lamer Scott was shot by North Charleston Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager, who fired eight times in the incident after a traffic stop Saturday. Slager was charged with murder. Officials announced the charge Tuesday after the video was released.
Scott’s family and their attorney, L. Chris Stewart, called for calm and peaceful protests. They said the murder charge showed that the justice system is working in this case.
The parents of a black man who was fatally shot while fleeing a white police officer call the shooting horrible, with his father saying it looked as if the officer was trying to “kill a deer running through the woods.”
Judy Scott, the mother of 50-year-old Walter Lamer Scott, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday that she almost couldn’t look at the video showing the shooting last weekend. She says it tore her heart to pieces.
His father, Walter Scott Sr., tells NBC’s “Today Show” that his son may have run after being pulled for a traffic stop because he owed child support and didn’t want to goback to jail.
The father says he doesn’t know if the shooting was racially motivated.
After authorities saw the video, shot by a bystander, they charged North Charleston Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager with murder