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Over Easy: Police officer killing Walter Scott captured on video

Good morning everyone. I’ll be hosting OE today as we continue waiting for the jury to reach a verdict in the Boston Marathon bombing trial. The video above is the basis for today’s post. It’s a cell phone video taken by a citizen who fortuitously witnessed and simultaneously recorded Officer Mike Slager shoot Walter Scott in the back as Scott attempted to get away from him. Slager squeezed off 8 shots. He has been charged with murder and probably will have an initial appearance in court today.

Rather than provide more description, I’m recommending readers watch the video, which is only a little over 3 minutes long, and pay attention to what Slager does after the shooting. He appears to reach down and pick up something that he then carries with him as he walks toward Scott’s body. After handcuffing Scott, he returns to where he was standing when he fired the shots and appears to pick up something else. Then he returns to the body.

More than anything else, I’m struck by how casual he is.

Finally, we the people need to repeal laws in various states that have criminalized videotaping police. I believe Maryland and Illinois are two of those states. Apparently, South Carolina where this shooting took place does not have such a law.



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Frederick Leatherman

Frederick Leatherman

I am a former law professor and felony criminal defense lawyer who practiced in state and federal courts for 30 years specializing in death penalty cases, forensics, and drug cases.

I taught criminal law, criminal procedure, law and forensics, and trial advocacy for three years after retiring from my law practice.

I also co-founded Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW) at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle and recruited 40 lawyers who agreed to work pro bono, assisted by law students, representing 17 innocent men and women wrongfully convicted of sexually abusing their children in the notorious Wenatchee Sex Ring witch-hunt prosecutions during the mid 90s. All 17 were freed from imprisonment.