Patterico's Pontifications

4/9/2015

Walter Scott Dashcam Video Shows Walter Scott Dashing on Camera

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 pm



Police have released the dashcam video of the stop of Walter Scott. It doesn’t show much, but it does show an officer stopping him in what appears to a routine traffic stop, and then shows Scott running away.

Not that it matters, really. Nor does it matter much that everybody and his dog has said in recent days that the guy had bought the car, but he tells the officer he hadn’t; he was in the process of buying it. Just goes to show you that you can’t believe everything you read.

Meanwhile, in this interview, the guy who made the video says the officer had Scott on the ground. He gives his opinion that the officer “had control” of Scott but that the officer then used a Taser and that Scott was just trying to get away.

He now has a lawyer. The Scott family has a new spokesman: Ryan Julison, a PR guy you might remember from such racial episodes as the Trayvon Martin shooting. That didn’t take long, did it?

40 Responses to “Walter Scott Dashcam Video Shows Walter Scott Dashing on Camera”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. I still don’t see anything here justifying the shooting.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  3. all you need to know is that cops are teh 3bil, and everything they do is wrong, and they only stop innocent people.

    redc1c4 (dab236)

  4. It looks like the traffic stop, the foot pursuit, and the use of the Taser were all justified, but not the shooting. However, Officer Slager deserves the opportunity to explain himself, a fair opportunity before an impartial tribunal.

    No one can deny there’s been a rush to judgment, if not in the law courts then surely in the court of public opinion, and it’s not the first time. We’ve seen such outrages recently as presumed guilt, bounties offered, kangaroo courts, malicious prosecutions, political interference, tampering with evidence, mob actions and so much more.

    Now, we shall see if our justice system can deliver a fair hearing to a police officer, or not.

    ropelight (833cd0)

  5. The dash-cam video is interesting… the exchange between Scott and the officer right from the start gets interesting. The officer states why he was stopped and asks Scott for his license and insurance documents. Scott starts explaining the lack of insurance papers and within about a minute of conversation says he just bought the car, was “buying” the car, was test driving it in anticipation of buying it, and he was thinking about it..

    I wonder if the actual owner, the potential seller, even knew his car was out cruising around.. and if Mr. Scott fled in anticipation of the owner being contacted.

    In many cases that conversation would end with the officer inviting Mr. Scott to “have a seat in my office” while they settle the ownership of the vehicle. I wonder at what point the statement of the passenger of the car will be made public.

    None of this, of course justifies the back-shooting of Mr. Scott, but it does begin to erode his total lack of contribution to his own demise.

    Gramps, the original (9e1415)

  6. Yeah, one of my pals wrote a piece at PJMedia saying this could happen to any one of us. I asked him on Facebook: would “any one of us” run from the cops and struggle over a Taser? It’s not like the cop was running around looking for random citizens to pull over and shoot in the back.

    If only the struggle had been captured on video, as I said last night, people would see this differently — even though it doesn’t change the analysis of shooting someone in the back at all.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  7. Everyone keeps saying that there is NO excuse for shooting a fleeing person in the back. But from long-ago memories of my concealed carry license class in Arizona, I seem to recall that police, at least in Arizona, could legally shoot to stop a fleeing person if they had reason to believe that the person had committed a felony and was a danger to the public. This looks to me like the policeman had reason to believe that Scott had stolen the car, and after Scott fought with him, he had reason to believe that Scott was dangerous. I don’t know what the law in SC is, but if it’s like Arizona (or like I vaguely recall Arizona is) then I’d think the policeman might have a defense on that basis.

    What if the cop had let Scott get away and then they discovered a couple of raped and murdered children in the trunk of his car? I suspect a lot of the same people who are being hostile and judgmental towards him now would be just as hostile and judgmental for his NOT shooting. It’s easy to be hostile and judgmental; it’s not so easy to make a life-or-death decision in a split second, working with incomplete information and suffering under the adrenalin rush from a fight. But that’s the position he found himself in. Until you find yourself in such a situation and make the exact right decision, maybe you all should put a cork in it.

    Cugel (699bce)

  8. Yeah, one of my pals wrote a piece at PJMedia saying this could happen to any one of us. I asked him on Facebook: would “any one of us” run from the cops and struggle over a Taser? It’s not like the cop was running around looking for random citizens to pull over and shoot in the back.

    If only the struggle had been captured on video, as I said last night, people would see this differently — even though it doesn’t change the analysis of shooting someone in the back at all.

    Indeed, I’ve been making this case since I first encountered it. The earlier stuff did not explain what the situation was in the first place sufficiently.

    I want to know more, and this sounds enough like the cop had to make a quick judgement call and probably made at worst a questionable one in a rush.

    But, I’d want to know what the law in SC is about fleeing felons who’ve just fought with the police, as Cugel above notes.

    Patterico?

    IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  9. I don’t care that the family now has a spokesman – they need one. The fact that this family has a spokesman that likely distrusts our justice system, to put it mildly, is no surprise – our justice systems uniformed representative stalked and killed a man with no legal justification.

    I don’t buy the excuse of “heat of passion” or he was following his training. If we are to have any kind of actual justice system, those we trust with arms and the use of deadly force have to live up to them, not be excused because it is a tough job.

    If a Marine in my unit in Somalia were to stalk unarmed Somaliis in this manner, I would prosecute – and by god, I won’t hold a police officer to a lesser standard for stalking a US citizen.

    Steven Malynn (b2805a)

  10. If only the struggle had been captured on video

    It may have been. Take a look at the first few seconds of Santana’s recording again. Notice the intrusive placement of the NY Times graphic violence warning. At that point the image is vertically oriented with ample black space on both sides for the warning, but inexplicably the Times covers up exactly the portion of the recording which would have caught the ground struggle Santana mentions.

    (See my comment #255 4/9/15 @8:44am from the original South Carolina post) Here’s an excerpt.

    The recording starts out fairly clear but at about the 8 second mark a NY Times graphic violence warning unnecessarily blocks out the center section, there’s plenty of space on either side for the warning yet the Times apparently inexplicably chose to block the recording at the point most likely to show Scott and Slager on the ground struggling for the Taser (described by Santana).

    The recording jumps between clear and blurry images, sometimes so abruptly it strains credulity. See the jump at the 17-18 second mark. Pay particular attention at about 1:32 – 1:39 where Officer Slager drops “something” near Scott’s body – the overall image is blurry yet the area around his right hand is strangely clear (as is a small circular portion of the chain link fence). The Times conveniently includes appropriate notation least such an important point be overlooked.

    And do recall how the TV images of George Zimmerman being led into the police station were manipulated to conceal the bloody wounds on the back of his head. We can’t rely on the national press, especially the NY Times for unbiased news coverage. We need to see Santana’s original recording prior to the post recording manipulations.

    ropelight (d10c53)

  11. walter scott

    got shot

    by a cop

    pop pop

    pop pop pop

    and then he died

    and Michael lied

    are you surprised?

    i’m not

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  12. “If a Marine in my unit in Somalia were to stalk unarmed Somaliis in this manner, I would prosecute – and by god, I won’t hold a police officer to a lesser standard for stalking a US citizen.”

    What stalking?

    Willie Lee (86492b)

  13. “What if the cop had let Scott get away and then they discovered a couple of raped and murdered children in the trunk of his car?”

    – Cugel

    Good point. They should probably shoot everyone, then search everyone’s trunk, just to be safe.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  14. I’d have no problem with a rule excusing the officer if he could prove, as an affirmative defense, that there was a reason to suspect the person was violent and he was likely to escape if he weren’t shot, but I doubt that’s the law.

    Bud Norton (29550d)

  15. According to fox news he was charged on monday, 2 days before the video went viral.

    spokanebob (ce642b)

  16. It’s close, Bud. Danger of death or great bodily harm to the officer or others if he escapes. If he’d killed Slager or injured him badly, Slager’s partner could have shot him as he was running away to prevent him from doing it to others. It’s going to be a mixed question of law and fact at trial and jurors will be expected to exercise common sense.

    Let me give this example. Chris Kyle’s killer said he thought Kyle was going to kill him. They were at a range — Kyle had guns within reach. He also had an official record of having killed 160 men. The jury found the killer guilty of first degree murder.

    nk (dbc370)

  17. Care to explain the staking claim? Again, same nonsense we heard during the Trayvon fiasco.

    JD (c90ab3)

  18. “What if the cop had let Scott get away and then they discovered a couple of raped and murdered children in the trunk of his car?”

    – Cugel

    Good point. They should probably shoot everyone, then search everyone’s trunk, just to be safe.

    Leviticus (f9a067) — 4/10/2015 @ 7:35 am

    But then who would drive the ambulances you chase? #ThinkItThrough!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  19. What’s going on now is that people are choosing sides, largely based on their politics. As noted in an earlier thread, I tend to think that police are far too quick to use deadly force, and that deadly force often (but not always) ends up being used on young black men. Here are a few thoughts:
    1. The Rodney King case (beating captured on video) and the OJ verdict, both of which appeared to me to be clear-cut wins for the prosecution, show me that if you focus enough energy and intellect on a situation you can come up with plausible arguments whichever way you want.
    2. I don’t think that any fair-minded person believes that Officer Slager started work that day, or even stopped Scott’s car that day, intending to kill anyone.
    3. All fair-minded people also should agree that police officers have jobs that can be difficult, that can place them in mortal danger at times, and that sometimes require them to make life-or-death decisions on-the-spot with little time to reflect about those decisions.
    4. That said, I think it’s also fair to say that the video evidence from several recent police shootings (the Wal-Mart in Ohio; the shooting of the 12-year-old boy in the Cleveland park; the non-fatal shooting of a guy who followed the officer’s instructions to get his license and registration, and now this one) shows that police appear to be unduly quick with the trigger. I don’t know why that is, but I suspect that it might have something to do with police feeling that they are in danger of being the victim of a violent act at any moment.
    5. I also think that it’s fair to say that at least Walter Scott did himself no favors by the way he responded to a traffic stop. I suspect that reaction (which turned out to be fatal for him) could be the result of his own fears of what might happen to him in a confrontation with police.
    6. Finally, with respect to the North Charleston shooting, I still don’t see any basis for shooting Scott several times as he flees the scene. I don’t know if that justifies a murder conviction, but it’s certainly not right, and the fact that the officer had to make a split-second decision doesn’t matter, because that’s what he’s supposed to be doing in his job.

    Jonny Scrum-half (574c2e)

  20. OK, JD, my use of the term stalking instead of aiming, then stalking and actin, was imprecise.

    You did catch Slager’s act after gunning down Scott – yelling at him to put his hands behind his back, because Slager now realized he had an audience.

    Slager though he could get away with shooting, because Scott had the temerity to slap the taser from Slager’s hands.

    Steve Malynn (6b1ce5)

  21. If you’re over 50, and still wanting to run from the cops, you just can’t let yourself go like this Walter Scott dude.

    Steve57 (cd6f9a)

  22. Steve Malynn, you seem to have a grudge against law enforcement. Are you the same Steven Malynn who had his law license suspended in Medina, Ohio for multiple acts of misconduct?

    ropelight (d10c53)

  23. pro tip:

    when running from the police during a traffic stop because you might have a warrant out for your arrest and you were stopped because you were dumb enough to be driving around in broad daylight in an automobile with defective tail lights and you do and say things that make the cop suspect you may have actually stolen it…MAKE SURE YOU RUN IN A ZIG-ZAG MANNER

    sound awake (beb21b)

  24. “What if the cop had let Scott get away and then they discovered a couple of raped and murdered children in the trunk of his car?”

    – Cugel
    Good point. They should probably shoot everyone, then search everyone’s trunk, just to be safe.

    That’s the kind of idiotic response that reveals the writer is not interested in serious discussion but just in showing how clever and snotty he is. Not everyone is driving around in a car without the registration, gives a lame story to explain it, and runs from and then fights with a cop over a traffic stop.

    Cugel (f09a18)

  25. It seems like Malynn has an agenda.

    JD (c90ab3)

  26. and yet they are not very good in presenting it,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  27. he just takes up Julison’s torch,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  28. the word slager is dutch for butcher i read it on the internet

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  29. Like “slaughter”. Cognate languages. And it even has baby otters scared. http://i.imgur.com/2kr3TIL.jpg Heartbreaking photo.

    nk (dbc370)

  30. What stalking?

    Indeed. Where did this “stalking” come from?

    And since a couple of people asked: no, he is not allowed to shoot the guy in the back for fleeing.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  31. Does what sclager did properly fall under manslaughter

    narciso (8f80b4)

  32. Patterico, are you saying that police are never legally justified in shooting at a fleeing person or just that fleeing alone is not good enough reason? And do you mean in SC or in all/most states?

    Do you think my memory of Arizona law on the issue is wrong? (It may very well be)

    Cugel (699bce)

  33. From what the video shows and based on how I was trained, that was a bad shoot. So far, there is no evidence shown of Scott being an imminent danger to anyone while fleeing. Which means “no shoot”.

    SGT Ted (795c8d)

  34. We’ll see what comes out in court. I could be wrong.

    SGT Ted (795c8d)

  35. the pattern of the same players raise suspicions,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  36. even though it doesn’t change the analysis of shooting someone in the back at all.

    Correct. I don’t want my cops shooting people in the back.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  37. ok new rule no shooting in the back

    we all on the same page?

    okey dokey now go get em tiger

    happyfeet (831175)

  38. No, happyfeet, we are not all on the same page. If the cop opened the drunk and found a couple of murdered kids and then the suspect took off and the cop didn’t have any other way to stop him, then yes, shoot him in the back. Shoot until the gun goes empty.

    Since no one who actually knows the law has confirmed that this is legal, it may not be, but you could never get me to convict if I were on the jury.

    This particular case, of course, is much harder and I’m not sure how I would go. I’m inclined to say that we now know at least that he does not have the necessary judgment and temperament to be an armed policeman ever again. But if there is no evidence of malice then I’d be inclined to let it go at that. If there was evidence of similar bad judgment in the past, then I’d have some hard questions for whoever let him keep his job.

    Cops have an extremely tough job but they are also well compensated for it. I think one of the downsides of being in law enforcement should be that it is easy to lose your job if you show bad judgment. Not to punish, but just because having good judgment and a suitable temperament is so important in that job. There are lots of people who want to be cops and I think we should cycle though them looking for the best ones, not giving lifetime tenure to everyone who passes the academy. Just one more reason why police unions should be illegal.

    Cugel (699bce)

  39. Here you go, Cugel. Tennessee v. Garner http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=471&invol=1 The standard set by the Supreme Court and followed by police departments and statutes authorizing use of deadly force by a police officer. Basically, it has to be someone who poses an imminent danger to life or limb if allowed to flee. But read the whole thing.

    Note, this is a Fourteenth Amendment standard which applies to the government. States can set lower standards as a defense for private citizens. In Texas, for example, you can shoot a prostitute in the back as she’s walking away with your $150.00 dollars not having done what you thought you were paying her for if it’s after 7 o’clock in the evening. Actual case.

    nk (dbc370)


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