Politics

The Walter Scott Outrage Nobody is Talking About

In this April 4, 2015, frame from video provided by attorney L. Chris Stewart representing the family of Walter Lamer Scott, Scott lies face down at the feet of City Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager, right, in North Charleston, S.C. Slager was charged with murder Tuesday, April 7, hours after law enforcement officials viewed the dramatic video that appears to show him shooting a fleeing Scott several times in the back. (AP Photo/Courtesy of L. Chris Stewart)
In this April 4, 2015, frame from video provided by attorney L. Chris Stewart representing the family of Walter Lamer Scott, Scott lies face down at the feet of City Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager, right, in North Charleston, S.C. Slager was charged with murder Tuesday, April 7, hours after law enforcement officials viewed the dramatic video that appears to show him shooting a fleeing Scott several times in the back. (AP Photo/Courtesy of L. Chris Stewart)

 

(Salon) – The horrific story of the unarmed Walter Scott’s death at the hands of Officer Michael Slager continues to reverberate. Aside from the incontrovertible evidence on the tape that the accused officer shot him in the back as if he were doing target practice, there has since emerged more tape of the traffic stop itself and audio of the officer speaking with his superiors on the phone raising even more questions about his state of mind at the time of the shooting. But as journalists have gone back and studied the officer’s record and found that he was previously investigated for taser abuse. And on even further investigation it was found that this jurisdiction is known as “Taser town”:

Until the eight shots heard ’round the world, cops in North Charleston, South Carolina, were primarily distinguished by their zesty use of Tasers.

As computed by a local newspaper in 2006, cops there used Tasers 201 times in an 18-month period, averaging once every 40 hours in one six-month stretch and disproportionately upon African Americans.

The Charleston Post & Courier did the tally after the death of a mentally ill man named Kip Black, who was tasered six times on one occasion and nine times on another. Black died immediately after the second jolting, though the coroner set the cause of death as cocaine-fueled “excited delirium syndrome.”

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