Dash cam video depicting the final moments in Walter Scott’s life was released Thursday. And what begins as a routine traffic stop quickly escalates into a deadly altercation that left Scott dead and the White police officer who shot him charged with murder.
The video, released by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, shows Officer Michael T. Slager, 33, pulling Scott, 50, over for a broken tail light. Slager goes through the motions of a typical traffic stop, asking Scott for his license, registration and insurance information. Scott, who is heard telling Slager that he had intentions to purchase the car Monday, reveals that he does not have insurance for the vehicle.
An unidentified passenger can be seen sitting beside Scott in the car.
But the routine stop takes a turn when Scott is seen running from the car. Slager can be heard chasing him, but the dashboard cam does not show the bleak scene that would unfold, where Scott was shot in the back eight times at the hands of the officer.
According to reports, Scott’s family said he owed back payments in child support and did not want to be arrested.
The banality of the traffic stop only adds to the chilling manner in which the situation unfolded. In a video captured by bystander Feidin Santana, Slager can be seen shooting a visibly unarmed Scott in the back eight times. According to the police report, he later radioed to dispatch, saying shots had been fired and that Scott had taken his Taser.
But the video shows Slager picking up an object, ostensibly the Taser, from the ground where their initial scuffle took place. Moments later, he can be seen dropping it next to Scott’s body.
Slager has since been charged with murder, which could spell 30 years in prison or even the death penalty. His history of violence and excessive force was also brought to light Thursday, when a man told the Associated Press that Slager had been unnecessarily violent and aggressive with him during an incident in 2013.
On Wednesday, the young man who captured the video of the deadly altercation said the incident has left him fearing for his life.
In an interview with NBC News, Santana, said he was on his way to work just before the deadly shooting took place. He said he noticed a struggle between the two men, but that the officer had complete control of the situation. He later told reporters that the situation Slager initially described to police, was quite different from what actually went down.
“It wasn’t like that, the way they were saying,” he said in an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. “I said, ‘No … this is not what happened.”
Slager is being held without bond at Charleston County Jail, according to NBC.