Police Officer Michael Slager has been charged with the murder of an unarmed man after a video of the incident appears to contradict his version of events. But how does the new vidence conflict with what was reported by police?
Walter Scott was driving his Mercedes Benz when he was pulled over on the corner of Remount and Craig Road in Charleston, South Carolina, for allegedly having a broken taillight. Moments later he was dead after being shot in the back five times.
What the police said
A man ran on foot from the traffic stop and an officer deployed his department-issued Taser in an attempt to stop him, said North Carolina Police spokesman Spencer Pryor in local newspaper Post and Courier.
That did not work and an altercation ensued as the men struggled over the device. During the struggle the man gained control of the Taser and attempted to use it against the officer.
The officer then resorted to his service weapon and shot him.
According to police reports, Slager allegedly said on his radio: “Shots fired and the subject is down. He took my Taser.”
What the lawyer said
“Slager thinks he properly followed all procedures and policies before resorting to deadly force, said David Aylor.
“When confronted, Officer Slager reached for his Taser — as trained by the department — and then a struggle ensued. The driver tried to overpower Slager in an effort to take his Taser.”
He finished by adding that “Slager felt threatened and reached for his department-issued firearm and fired his weapon”.
What the video shows
The video begins in the grassy area, a few moments after Officer Slager fires the Taser. The wires appear to be trailing from Scott’s body.
An object falls to the ground behind Slager. It is not clear who had the object or whether it is a stun gun. Scott turns and runs away from the officer.
He appears to be at least 10 to 15 metres away and fleeing. He is unarmed. Slager reaches into his holster, takes out his gun and fires eight times. Scott slumps to the ground.
Slager shouts: “Put your hands behind your back now.” He handcuffs Scott then jogs back to where the scuffle took place and picks up the object that fell to the ground.
The officer returns with the object and is seen clearly dropping it near the body.
A second officer who has arrived on the scene speaks into his radio while attends to Scott. But he does not attempt to revive him with CPR.
More officers later arrive and try to administer first aid while they wait for paramedics.
Scott remains motionless face down on the ground. He is pronounced dead at the scene.