North Charleston police officer Michael T. Slager has been charged with the murder of 50-year-old Walter ‘Lamar’ Scott after a routine traffic stop led to the unarmed Scott being shot in the back eight times on Saturday.
The officer was charged with murder after a video obtained by The New York Times showed the unarmed Scott fleeing the scene. Slager had said he feared for his life because Scott had taken his stun gun, yet in the video you can clearly see the stun gun had fallen to the ground only to be retrieved by Slager and placed next to Scott’s lifeless, handcuffed body only to be retrieved by Slager again.
Little is known about the victim in this case. Walter Scott was a father of four and had recently proposed to his longtime girlfriend. He is survived by two siblings and according to the Mirror, he had a minor previous criminal history, mainly related to family court and child support matters. He faced one charge of assault and battery in 1987 but does not appear to have had a serious criminal background. Various reports said he may have fled police because he owed back child support. He was a big Dallas Cowboys fan and his brother Anthony Scott was quoted as saying: “We had planned to go see them play but I guess that won’t happen now. My brother is a kind and sweet person. He talked to everybody, knew all our family members by name, anybody that came in touch with Walter loved him.”
Family members and friends said they believed Scott was on Remount Road close to where he was shot on Saturday morning to buy parts for the Mercedes he recently purchased and was in the process of restoring. Walter Scott was also a veteran of the Coast Guard.
The case is now a subject of a State Law Enforcement Division investigation.