50 year-old Walter Scott was shot at eight times, with five of those shots hitting him in the back, as he ran from South Carolina Police Officer Michael Slager. Officer Slager then proceeded to plant his taser on the body of Walter Scott saying that he (Scott) had taken his taser, which was false. Officer Slager’s reason for shooting was that he “Feared for his life.” This excuse has been used time and time again when it comes to the Police and the reoccurring deaths of Black men and women in America.Scott’s attempted escape aside, he should not have lost his life, nor should any unarmed man or woman interacting with the authorities. This officer saw it more fit to shoot at this defenseless man when he could’ve chased and pursued him. This is a problem. Taking someone’s life should NEVER be the option an officer chooses before pursuing a suspect.
In the media, the first thing you hear about Walter Scott are his past troubles with paying child support are being highlighted. They aren’t saying that he was a Coast Guard Veteran. They aren’t saying that he was engaged, and was working to help his children. Now his Fiancée, his children, and his family are without this respected community leader. Demonizing these victims is something that happens all to often. Though he had his shortcomings, he was human like you and I.
Walter Scott is now the 300th person to be murdered by a police officer in 2015. It’s only April 8th. 98 days into 2015 and we have 300 deaths. This is an epidemic that desperately needs to be addressed. But for now let us gather our thoughts and pray for this man’s family. RIP Walter Scott