What if someone hadn’t filmed officer shooting?

We can’t watch this horrible video without wondering, “What if?” What if someone hadn’t been in a perfect position to see a South Carolina cop execute a black man, who had been stopped for a broken tail light? How might today’s discussion be different?

It’s disturbing, of course, which is why everyone should watch it.

Officer Michael Slager is charged with murder in the death of Walter Scott in North Charleston, S.C.

“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” the city’s mayor said. “If you make a bad decision, don’t care if you’re behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision.”

“It would have never come to light. They would have swept it under the rug, like they did with many others,” Walter Scott Sr. told NBC’s Today show today, speaking of the video’s release.

“The way he [Slager] was shooting that gun, it looked like he was trying to kill a deer,” he said.


(Video link)

Perhaps this can change the debate in the aftermath of Ferguson, Mo., in which protestors couldn’t break through the assertion that pointing out the existence of bad cops and systemic inequity is an allegation against all police.

“It’s easy to dismiss Slager as ‘one bad apple,’ and certainly it’s hard to believe that most officers would make the same terrible choices that he made,” Will Bunch writes today in the Philadelphia Inquirer. “But this incident is also a clarion call for those seeking meaningful changes in policing, that now is not the time to let up. If nothing else, police forces in too many places doesn’t look like the public they serve.”

“We don’t advocate violence, we advocate change,” Mr. Scott’s brother tells the Post and Courier of Charleston.

Yesterday, an online fund was set up for the officer’s defense. “Policemen and policewomen all over our country are under assault from liberal interests who hate the police. This case is going to be bigger than Ferguson,” the appeal said.

It was taken down after about an hour.

Archive: South Carolina indicted three white cops in four months, and it’s probably not a coincidence (Washington Post).