White South Carolina police officer faces murder charge over shooting of black man

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 07, 2015 6:08 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - A white South Carolina police officer will be charged with murder over the shooting death of a black man who appeared to be fleeing from him, local authorities said on Tuesday.

A video of the Saturday incident, in which North Charleston police officer Michael Slager appeared to shoot a man identified by local media as 50-year-old Walter Scott, was viewed by state investigators, and a decision was made to charge Slager with murder, North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey told a news conference.

"When you're wrong, you're wrong," Summey told reporters. "If you make a bad decision, I don't care if you're behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision."

The incident began after Scott was pulled over for a broken taillight, local media reported.

A video of the encounter published by the New York Times shows a brief scuffle between the officer and the victim before the latter begins running away.

The video, which appears to be shot by a bystander, then shows the officer firing several shots at the victim, who falls to the ground.

(Writing by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Sandra Maler)