The Walter Scott Incident
I’ve avoided commenting on many of the other news headlines in the past. Just too lazy I guess. However, watching and reading how the story is getting slanted and spun, reading comments on FB, this bothered me to the point that I can’t help but ask the question, ‘Why can’t people handle the truth?’
To begin with, this whole incident is messed up from beginning to end! There is plenty of culpability to spread around to everybody here. It’s not one person’s fault!
First of all, what world do you live in where a man with a gun strapped to his hip, a person of authority, tells you to sit in your car and you think it’s better to get out and run? No matter how wrong it may seem, the fact remains that if Scott stayed in his car, like he was instructed, Scott would still be alive today.
Being pulled over by the cops ruins anybody’s day. However, a huge vast majority of people don’t lose their mind over experience. If they do something stupid, there’s probably an underlying reason.
The indisputable facts as I’ve seen and heard in the recordings being presented in the news are as follows:
1) Scott gets pulled over for a broken tail light. (Makes for a bad day for anyone.)
2) Scott lies to the Slager. (It’s against the law to lie to the police. Slager lets it slide.)
3) Scott attempts to get out of vehicle the first time. (At this point Slager has reason to believe there’s a problem, something is up with this person. Slager still keeps his cool.)
4) Scott gets out of vehicle and runs. (It’s against the law to try to escape, or flee the scene of a traffic violation.)
5) Slager gives pursuit. Attempts to subdue Scott with non-lethal force. (Tazer) Scott wrestles with Slager, (This is seen on the very first portion of the cell phone video and heard on Slager’s microphone. This is called assault of a police officer. It’s against the law.) Continues to flee.
6) Several times, Slager yells at Scott to stop running. Yet Scott continues to run.
7) Finally, Slager shoots Scott. (Eight shots are fired. How many actually hit Scott? Probably makes no difference Scott is still dead.)
If you are being totally objective and not racially charged, Slager is going to walk, or at worst, found not guilty in a court of law. (If the standard of ‘Reasonable Doubt’ is not thrown out of the window.) Furthermore, under the current system of laws in this country that is as it should be.
I’m 66 years old. It’s always been my understanding that when a criminal is trying to escape from a penitentiary the guards have the authority to use lethal force to stop them. (That may include shooting them in the back.)
In the evidence presented, by the time that Slager shot Scott, Scott had already broken the law three times in a series of escalating stupid decisions. (Not that the Slager knew, but Scott had a warrant out for his arrest as it turns out. Scott was no stranger to the law.)
Again, if you are being totally objective and not blinded by the emotions of racial bias you can see that if Slager has a good Philadelphia lawyer, he has a great case for wrongful termination, and slander against the police department.
That may sound wrong on so many levels, but consider this. Every municipality has laws or ‘Rules of Engagement’ that the police must follow when dealing with the public. I suspect that in a lot of municipalities those ‘Rules of Engagement’ (ROE) allow the officer to shoot a suspect under these same circumstances.
So if the ROE for Slager allow or even instruct for gun fire, then the Slager was doing what he was trained to do, and it’s not his fault, and he should not have been fired.
All that being said, why can’t we, the voters, force our leaders to change the ROE at least to the point of trying to wound a person first, if gun fire is needed, rather than an immediate kill shot.
It sounds simple but I would not want to be the cop that has to decide which level to use on a spur of the moment situation.
Just my thoughts on the subject.