Mourners has gathered in Summerville, South Carolina for the funeral of black driver Walter Scott.
Walter Scott was fatally shot by North Charleston police officer Michael Slager after fleeing a traffic stop.
A hearse being escorted by two police on motorcycles drove up as the growing crowd looked on April 11. Mourners waited outside through humidity and a period of light rain while flowers were unloaded and brought inside the sanctuary.
Police initially said Walter Scott was shot on April 4 during a tussle over Michael Slager’s department-issued Taser.
However, a witness video surfaced later, showing Walter Scott being shot eight times as he ran away. Officer Michael Slager was fired and charged with murder.
The incident sparked outrage as another instance of a white law enforcement officer fatally shooting an unarmed black man under questionable circumstances.
South Carolina police officer Michael Slager has been charged with murder after video emerged of him shooting a black man running away from him.
State investigators arrested North Charleston Officer Michael Slager on April 7 after viewing the mobile phone video of the shooting.
According to authorities, victim Walter Lamer Scott was shot after the white officer had already targeted him with a stun gun.
The US Department of Justice is set to launch an investigation.
“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said, announcing the arrest.
“When you make a bad decision, I don’t care if you’re behind the shield or a citizen on the street, you have to live with that decision.”
Photo North Charleston Police
Police officers in the US fatally shoot and kill hundreds of people each year, but only a handful of cases result in the officer facing criminal charges.
The incident on April 4 began after Walter Lamer Scott’s car was stopped for having a broken rear light, local media reported.
A video of the incident published by the New York Times shows a brief scuffle before Walter Lamer Scott begins running away. The video then shows Officer Michael Slager firing several shots at Walter Lamer Scott, who falls to the ground.
The Postand Courier newspaper of Charleston reported that Walter Lamer Scott had been arrested about 10 times, mostly for failing to pay child support or show up for court hearings.
His brother, Anthony Scott, told the Post and Courier that he believed his brother fled from Michael Slager because he owed child support.
Anthony Scott said that because of the video, “we have received the truth” and “through the process, justice has been served”.
Chris Stewart, a lawyer for Walter Lamer Scott’s family, called the passer-by who recorded the video a “hero”.
The shooting occurred as heightened scrutiny is being placed on police officer shootings, particularly those that involve white officers and unarmed black suspects.
A grand jury declined to indict Ferguson, Missouri officer Darren Wilson over the fatal shooting of Michael Brown last August, leading to nationwide protests.
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