Michael T. Slager, the officer who shot and killed Walter Scott, says video of the fatal shooting does not tell the full story of what happened on April 4 in North Charleston, South Carolina. In documents to be presented in court Thursday by Slager’s attorneys, the former cop said he opened fire because he felt threatened by Scott.
“Just that three seconds of the video came out. And everybody thought I was racist, and I just got out of my car and just shot him in the back for no reason,” Officer Michael Slager told NBC News.
Footage taken by an onlooker shows the victim running away from the cop who pulled out his gun and fired bullets at Scott until he fell to the ground. “Put your hands behind your back,” Slager commanded to an unresponsive Scott.
Slager’s defense team plans to argue in court Thursday that Scott had struggled to take Slager’s taser and when he got a hold of it, attempted to tase Slager multiple times. Scott failed in his attempts. Defense attorneys also alleged that Slager believed that Scott could be armed because he did not have time to pat Scott down before he began running away. They also claim Scott had cocaine in his system.
In June, Slager was indicted by a grand jury and charged with murder in the killing of Scott. A bail hearing is set for Thursday in Slager’s case. He was denied bail in April, but lawyers are fighting to get Slager out on bond.