The North Charleston, SC police officer who shot a fleeing man in the back was fired from the police force. Former police officer Michael Slager, 33, was arrested and charged with murder in the shooting death of Walter L. Scott, 50. A video taken by a bystander captured the murder.
An autopsy showed that Mr. Scott was shot 5 times in the back. The video clearly shows Slager dropping what appears to be a stun gun near Scott's body as he lay dying in the grass. Slager initially told investigators that Scott struggled with him and took away his stun gun. But the video contradicts his story.
In a news conference held earlier today, North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey told reporters Slager was terminated from the police force.
The mayor also told reporters that all officers in the department would be outfitted with body cameras as a result of the shooting. Summey informed reporters that Slager's wife is eight months pregnant, and the city would continue to pay her medical insurance until the child is born because it is "the humane thing to do."
When Summey told the rancorous crowd that Police Chief Eddie Driggers would not speak at the news conference, the room erupted with chants of "The mayor's got to go!"
Mayor Summey, who visited the Scott family with Chief Driggers, asked the crowd to pray for the Scott family. Summey said he was "sickened" by what he saw in the video.
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast, Charleston attorney David Aylor said he dumped Slager as a client after he viewed the video which was given to the New York Times by an attorney representing the Scott family.
"I can't specifically state what is the reason why or what isn't the reason why I'm no longer his lawyer," Aylor told The Beast, "All I can say is that the same day of the discovery of the video that was disclosed publicly, I withdrew as counsel immediately."
Aylor said a reporter sent him a copy of the video via email.
Calling Scott's death "a tragic situation," Aylor said, "At no point… is anybody above the law. And I think that's why we have process and court systems and everybody deserves their day in court, but I won't be participating in anything related to this case moving forward in that regard.
Slager, who is being held without bond, made his first court appearance by video from the jail today.