I don’t know how you found out about the recent officer involved shooting in South Carolina of an unarmed African-American man, but I found out about it through social media.
Not only did I not see anything in the mainstream media about it, but I didn’t actually see anything regarding the story until Monday which is odd, since the shooting occurred the previous Saturday.
Is the mainstream media taking a new approach to officer involved incidents based upon past lessons learned?
According to what has been ascertained so far, Officer Michael Slager of the North Charleston Police Department, who is white, allegedly pulled over 50-year-old Walter Scott, an African-American, for a broken taillight.
Slager reportedly claims that he feared for his life when Scott tried to take his stun gun during a scuffle.
What is unclear is why Slager’s stun gun became involved in a “routine” traffic stop in the first place.
Was it because Scott reached for it?
Did Slager have a justifiable reason for having it out of its holster in the first place, if in fact it was Slager who removed it and not Scott?
All of these questions will certainly be asked to determine if Slager had a reasonable fear for his safety.
All of that aside, Slager’s attorney will have a difficult time supporting his claim of self-defense due to the fact that Scott was apparently unarmed and shot in the back as he ran away from the officer.
What is chilling and clear is the video shot by a neutral bystander who filmed the tragic incident while it was occurring. In my opinion, the video reasonably and unmistakably gives the police department the evidence they needed to charge Slager with murder for the use of unlawful lethal force in the death of Scott.
The only thing that surprises me about this incident is the lack of news coverage it has received thus far, at least, in the mainstream media.
Video taken after the shooting and prior to the shooting when Brown was seen taking cigars from a store, played repeatedly on local and national news stations.
Mainstream media couldn’t get enough of interviewing anyone and everyone they could find to seemingly convict Officer Darren Wilson before he even had his day in court. Only a foreign news website cast doubt that Brown had surrendered to Wilson before being shot.
During the investigation, it became apparent that mainstream media may have been fostering their own agenda when it was asserted that the facts surrounding the shooting had been fabricated.
One news outlet reported that statements about the shooting from the Ferguson Police Department didn’t “jibe” with eye witness accounts. This turned out to be false when the grand jury listened to eye witness accounts and determined that there would not be an indictment based upon the facts presented.
It was later determined that Wilson, after testifying before the grand jury, would not be indicted for Brown’s death because he had reasonably feared for his life. Eye witnesses also corroborated Wilson’s testimony that Brown did not have his hands in the air when the fatal shots were fired but instead, was charging toward the officer when he was killed.
Nonetheless, the Department of Justice investigated the Ferguson Police Department, finding two civil rights violations against them. This investigation was also covered extensively by the mainstream media.
Then there was the Eric Garner case, in which an African-American man died after NYPD officers put him in a chokehold and appeared to slam his head against the sidewalk. A video captured the entire incident.
Officers attempted to take Garner into custody over selling untaxed cigarettes in New York. Following the incident, the officer who held Garner in a chokehold was not indicted by the grand jury. The DOJ once again launched a civil rights investigation.
Throughout the inquiry, coverage by the mainstream media was again widespread as the officer’s actions were called into question. It appeared that the agenda was implying that racism played a part in the death of Garner rather than focusing on the facts.
The implied accusations of racism in the mainstream media fell apart when it was learned that a NYPD supervisor observing the Garner arrest was herself, an African-American woman.
What has not been covered as much in the mainstream media are recent allegations from the friend of Garner who shot the video.
Reports claim that Orta has gone on a hunger strike in his jail cell claiming that he is afraid that the New York Corrections Department officers will taint his food with rat poison. Nineteen other inmates have apparently filed a lawsuit last month claiming they were sickened by blue-green pellets found in their meatloaf.
While these allegations appear newsworthy, could it be that the mainstream media is not giving full-coverage to this story because racism cannot be alleged? Or is there some other reason?
What seems obvious to me in every case involving police officers, including the most recent one, is that the facts of each case must be determined before the mainstream media or anyone else assumes that police involved killings are racially motivated.
Perhaps the mainstream media has learned this lesson and are taking a more cautious approach before presuming that race was the motivating factor.
Mainstream media may now understand that it’s better to report the facts and not assume that every case involving people of different ethnicities is racially motivated. Only time will tell.
Michael Slager: The Cop Who Killed Walter Scott
Michael Thomas Slager is currently inmate No. 0001514468 residing in cell 1140B at the Charleston County Detention Center. But before that, the 33-year-old waited tables, but now Slager is now known nationally as the officer who shot and killed 50-year-old Walter Scott running from a traffic stop Saturday. Slager was officially hired and signed an “Oath of Office” on March 1, 2010.The city’s mayor announced Wednesday the five-year veteran of the police department has been fired. Slager is married and a stepfather to two children and his wife is eight-months pregnant. He applied to be a police officer in January 2009, after spending time as a waiter. He is a Coast Guard veteran, according to an the application obtained by NBC A man claimed Slager used his Taser for no reason among other excessive force during a September 2013 confrontation that ended with the man slammed to the ground. Slager was cleared in that case.
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