Monday, April 13, 2015


Late last week, we first saw dashcam video of the Walter Scott traffic stop, including Scott's flight from the vehicle after Officer Michael Slager walked away. We were told:
What's missing is what happens from the time the two men run out of the frame of dashboard video to the time picked up in a bystander's cellphone video a few hundred yards away. The cellphone footage starts with Scott getting to his feet and running away, then Slager firing eight shots at the man's back.

"It is possible for something to happen in that gap to significantly raise the officer's perception of risk," Seth Stoughton, a former police officer and criminal law professor at the University of South Carolina.
Zandar wrote:
All Slager has to do in order to walk is testify that Scott tried to attack him during the period Scott ran from the traffic stop until the cell phone video opens, and that he feared for his life.

No jury will convict him. Not in the murder of a black man, because black men are vermin to be exterminated and shot in the back. We don't count as human, you see.

Slager will lie, and he will walk. And he'll quietly be hired back as a police officer somewhere.

And Walter Scott will be dead because he was black.
Zandar wrote that on Friday. Also on Friday, we learned this:
Some of what Gwen Nichols saw on the day Walter Scott was shot and killed by a former North Charleston Police Officer, fills in the gap between the dash cam of a routine traffic stop and the cell phone video of the shooting.

Nichols says she could see a struggle between Scott and then Officer Slager from the corner of the Advance Auto Parts.

“Before what you saw on that video tape, there was like a little tussle over there at the end of that gate down there,' Nichols explained.

She didn't see them on the ground.

“It wasn't on the ground rolling. It was like a tussle like, ‘what do you want?' or ‘what did I do?' type of thing.”

With alarms sounding all around her, as other officers responded to the scene, she didn't get too close....
Is that enough to acquit Slager? Maybe, maybe not. But if that isn't, this bit of who-knows-how-accurate amateur sleuthing by a Breitbart-loving blogger probably lays out the way the right is going to create reasonable doubt for Slager.

The post I've linked includes a video purporting to sync up what we've seen via dashcam and cellphone with the police dispatcher's audio. We're told:
The sync’d video IS BRILLIANT and shows the length of time in the chase, confrontation, physical struggle between Officer Slager and Walter Scott, and the first aid administered by the responding officers.

... this was not a short fight prior to Officer Slager using his firearm to shoot Walter Scott.
And we get a map:

But wait, there's more:
What is potentially a game changer occurs when you review Officer Slager stating he had lost control/custody of the x26 Taser he deployed to restrain a non compliant Scott -- and recognize the Taser actually appears to have been used against him.

At least one dart appears lodged in the upper torso, chest, shirt of Officer Slager.

You can read the post for the details, and you can decide for yourself whether it makes any sense. What matters is that this theory is already being retransmitted by such right-wing blogs as Gateway Pundit -- which, yes, is run by someone lefties like to call the Stupidest Man on the Internet, but which is also extremely well connected to the right-wing media infrastructure, including Fox News. Reasonable doubt won't take long to develop, and soon, on the right, Walter Scott will be talked about on the right as an uncontrolled thug, the same way Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown are. That ought to be enough to keep any jury with typical white heartlanders from convicting Slager. So, yeah, he'll probably walk.


Professor Chaos said...

It doesn't matter what happened. He's going to walk. They strangled Eric Garner to death on camera and they all walked. All any cop has to do is repeat the phrase "I feared for my life" and he walks.

Luigi said...

There was never any doubt that Slager would walk. Even without the missing footage, a decent well paid lawyer would argue that Scott was a tower black monster that scared the quivering albino jellied Slager down to his BVDs. Also, juries and judges always listen to their cops brethren. Even white people will have their testimony disparaged in court by a cop. I've seen it many times an I've had it happen to me in the most trivial of cases -- the traffic ticket. In the courts mentality: Cops are right, everyone else is wrong. Blacks are really, really wrong.

Professor Fate said...

He could very well walk but the biggest problem with this defense is of course that once his back is turned and he's running away he's no longer a threat (if he ever was) to the officer. With Trevor Martin they were very very careful to say he was charging the officer before he opened fire so he could claim he was in fear for his life. The law is fairly specific in this case unless the officer has probable case to presume the fleeing suspect is going to be a threat to himself (and since he's running away and weaponless that's a hard sell) or others which again he's weaponless.
I'm sure a good lawyer will pump up the threat the officer felt but that's going to be hard - unless the jury really wants it to be true - to reconcile that with the video.