Donald Joy at Clash Daily has a reasonable perspective on shooting of Walter Scott by Police Officer Michael Slager. His argument is one that many people agree with; if the State of South Carolina takes only a murder charge to trial they will lose.
As each of these types of cases surfaced we have continued to remind everyone they are not legal cases; they are political cases played out inside legal courts.
Arguably three years ago few people understood how an individual could be brought to trial without clear factual evidence of their guilt for the specific charges they were facing. That changed when the transparently innocent George Zimmerman was arrested on a murder charge -solely for political cover- on April 11th 2012.
On August 9th 2014, in the case of the Mike Brown shooting by Officer Darren Wilson, an eerily similar scenario played out again – only this time the Saint Louis Missouri prosecutor did not succumb to political pressure and allowed the grand jury to decide lawfulness or lack thereof. The case never went to trial – the DOJ confirms there was nothing unlawful with Darren Wilson’s action during the encounter.
Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, and now Walter Scott, are not legal cases established by determinations of investigations, factual evidence, considerations of legal justifications, or lack thereof. Nor are they prudent prosecutorial decisions made carefully after analysis of all aspects.
Unfortunately, these charges are based on political decisions made by agents of government deciding how to avoid or manage controversy. In the Walter Scott shooting the political machine made an arrest decision based entirely on a portion of a video.
Without ever interviewing the eye-witness Feidin Santana who took the video; and without interviewing Police Officer Slager before or after the video surfaced; and with almost no substantive investigation to support them; and within 12 hours of watching a video of dubious interest, a political entity -SLED- (not a part of law enforcement) determined they needed to charge Officer Michael Slager with murder to appease a growing political and media mob.
ONLY THEN, after the arrest, did they began their investigation.
This is an incredibly dangerous approach to law and order enforcement. The mob that was appeased by the political apparatus now has unrealistic expectations.
(Clash Daily) The video of South Carolina police officer Michael Slager taking steady aim and repeatedly shooting the fleeing Walter Scott in the back is rather shocking and disturbing. It shows the horrible consequence of Slager completely following through on his decision to resort to deadly force when, after a foot chase and fierce physical fight, Scott looked to be turning the officer’s own taser against him.
Some who have analyzed the incident and video closely know that the details are somewhat different than the authorities and media would have people know.
The moment of decision looks to have happened so fast. Lightning fast. With taser wires visibly somehow attached to both men, at the moment of struggle over the taser when Slager is justified in going to his gun, the taser flies from between them, landing behind the officer as Scott suddenly whirls and runs away from the officer. But Slager’s resolute drawing and repeatedly firing into Scott’s back after that point is uninterrupted.
A clear-cut case of murder, according to many.
However, even in failing to halt his deadly volley of shots when the situation immediately changed (arguably from one of justified deadly force to something else), Slager is not guilty of murder, and an honest jury will not convict him of it.
Why do I say this? Arguments have raged in online forums non-stop, with speculation about all kinds of contingencies, about the technical capacities of tasers, and especially about Slager’s state of mind (the heart of the matter, really) at the moment he fired each individual shot. (continue reading)