Killer cops are charged

Submitted by Matthew on 15 April, 2015 - 9:20 Author: Gemma Short

­Michael Slager, the cop who killed unarmed black man, Walter Scott, on 5 April in North Charleston, South Carolina, has been charged with murder.

The murder charge was brought only after an eye witness handed over to police mobile phone footage of the event showing Walter being shot eight times in the back as he ran away from Slager. The witness also said there was a struggle in which Slager used his taser on Walter before Walter got away and ran.

Police spokespeople has originally reported that Walter had taken Slager’s taser and used it against him. The video shows Slager picking up the taser from the ground and placing it next to Walter after he has been shot.

Audio and video recordings from the police car have now been released which corroborate the film. They show Walter being stopped by Slager for having a broken brake light. As Slager returns to the police car to check the license Walter opens his car door to get out, Slager tells him to stay in the car which he does for a short while before running away.

On the audio recording a conversation between Slager and his senior officer immediately after the shooting can be heard. Slager says “adrenaline is pumping” and he is laughing. The senior officer assures Slager he will not face questioning for a few days.

Without the video footage the case would be no different from many other shootings of unarmed black men by police in America. In such cases cops have not been indicted or have been charged with manslaughter and found not guilty. Walter’s father, Walter Scott Sr thanked the witness for filming the event: “It would’ve never come to light [without the video] – they would’ve swept it under the rug like they’ve done many others.” Indeed.

Protesters gathered at North Charleston city hall on Wednesday 8 April to listen to two hours of testimony about police discrimination and harassment of black communities.

On 2 April, 44 year old black man Eric Harris was shot dead by 73 year old volunteer police officer Bob Bates in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Bates has been charged with second-degree manslaughter after claiming he shot Eric accidentally, as he took his gun not his taser from his belt.

Eric had been stopped in a sting operation, to catch Eric buying a gun. Police claim the operation went wrong and Eric ran away. Police tackled him to the ground, at which point Bates says pulled his taser to subdue Eric.

Footage from police body cameras show that officers treated Eric as if his life had no value. After Eric has been shot they continue to hold him down. One officer is heard to shout “Shut the fuck up ... You ran, motherfucker, do you hear me, you fucking ran.”

When Eric says “I’m losing my breath,” an officer replies: “Fuck your breath.” Eric later died in hospital.

If the killer of Walter Scott is found guilty and punished (and those are big ifs in the racist American criminal justice system) it will be some sort of vindication for the relatives and friends, neighbours and co-workers of the hundreds of people who have mourned for people who have died at the hands of these armed thugs.

For the working-class and black people who have put up with official disregard for their lives and their communities.

A small step forward in the much bigger fight to smash US inequality and eradicate the violence it generates.

Officer Slager’s defence

By Janine Booth

Officer Michael T Slager, how do you plead to the charge of the murder of Walter L Scott?

I plead not guilty

On the grounds that it is well-established

That it is lawful for a white cop to kill a black person

I plead not guilty

On the grounds of provocation

He was black in a public place

How is a responsible officer supposed to react?!

I plead not guilty

On the grounds that he was running away

And therefore obviously guilty

Of having a broken tail-light

I plead not guilty

On the grounds of self-defence

As a white cop, I believed him to be black and threatening

I had to protect myself

I plead not guilty

Under the “stand your ground” law

I stood my ground

And shot him eight times

I plead not guilty

Not on the grounds of 

Temporary insanity

But of permanent inhumanity

I plead not guilty

On the grounds that it is well-established

That it is lawful for a white cop to kill a black person

I cite the following case law:

Officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner, New York City — no charge

Officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, Ferguson — no charge

Two officers shot and killed Gabriella Nevaraz,

Sacramento — no charge

I rest my case

The defendant shall rise

Officer Michael T. Slager, your plea is rejected on the grounds that 

Although it is indeed lawful for a white cop to kill a black person

It is a crime to be filmed doing so

Guilty. Of murder. And extreme carelessness.

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