Another Murderous Cop Set Free By the U.S. System of Injustice
North Charleston, South Carolina police officer Michael Slager shot unarmed 50-year-old Walter Scott in the back eight times as Scott ran away. In addition to shooting an unarmed fleeing man in the back, Slager was caught lying about his taser, and planting evidence, all on tape! Slager was later charged with murder for these transgressions.
Do to failures within the U.S. system referred to as justice; Michael Slager was set free after Circuit Judge Clifton Newman declared a mistrial because twelve jurors could not reach a unanimous decision.
Video of the fatal shots to Scott’s back on April 4, 2015 offered the entire world a small view of the horrors suffered in the black community at the hands of unaccountable policing. If a bystander had not recorded the encounter, investigators would have accepted Slager’s testimony, as gospel and he’d still be roaming the streets terrorizing black communities.
The audio/visual evidence in this case was unmistakable – Officer Michael Slager shot a fleeing man in the back, planted evidence, and lied about Scott ‘taking his taser.’ Despite this mountain of evidence, the jury remained unconvinced. As a result, Slager joins a long list of police officers in the U.S. who have also murdered (intentional use of legal term of art).
According to Slager, he initially pulled Scott over because Scott’s “third brake light was out.” *Note: ‘third brake light being out’ does not violate any South Carolina law, thus, Slager’s reason for pulling Scott over remains indefensible. Beyond racially provoked harassment, there is no explanation for the stop. Similarly, Slager has no excuse for firing his weapon in an open park with the intention of killing a non-combative (fleeing) citizen. To be clear, shooting a person IN THE BACK from 75 feet as that person is RUNNING AWAY requires malice aforethought.
When racially prejudice police officers are permitted to target entire communities and kill with impunity, no one is safe! It only takes a single white nationalist (Or KKK sympathizer), to earn a seat on a jury and that jury will not reach the necessary unanimity for conviction. This dynamic is why Dylann Roof may also be acquitted for his terror attack at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. church in Charleston. A juror, who fails to recognize the humanity of a black victim, will never convict the victim’s attacker.
There have been thousands of lives taken by police officers since 2005. But the number of officers tried for murder in that span is less than 100. From those, only one...one has resulted in a murder conviction. Statistics like these are maddening, not only for members of oppressed groups that have been targeted by police, but also by individuals who believe in the ideals of justice. In response to the ruling, crowds may gather in North Charleston to demonstrate opposition to the U.S. system of injustice. Media members and law enforcement should refrain from their usual “calls for calm and peace.”
Demanding “peace” and contrition from the black community following these events is insulting and tiresome. Peace ought only be expected where peace is reciprocated. Why is peace demanded from the targets of police violence? Why are victims of police violence required to acquiesce to their state sanctioned attackers? At what point is responding to violence in like kind appropriate?