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Walter Scott Shooting: North Charleston Orders 250 Body Cameras for Officers

Scott, 50, was killed following a routine traffic stop in an incident caught on cell phone video by a witness.
/ Source: NBC News

The mayor ordered body cameras on Wednesday for the police force of a South Carolina city where a white officer was captured on camera killing an apparently unarmed black man.

Mayor Keith Summey of North Charleston also announced that the officer, Michael Slager, had been fired. Slager was already charged with murder in the death of Walter Scott after a traffic stop on Saturday.

At a heated press conference where a boisterous crowd shouted “No justice, no peace!”, Summey announced that he had ordered 250 body cameras. Every officer on the street will wear one after a policy is established and the force is trained, he said.

A bystander shot video of the encounter between Slager and Scott. The officer appeared to fire eight times, using a Glock 21 pistol, while Slager was running away from him.

A police incident report quotes Slager as saying that Scott took his Taser, and it says that officers tried to revive him with CPR. The video does not show either of those things. It does show two officers tending to Scott while he lies motionless on the ground.

Police Chief Eddie Driggers said that it appeared life-saving measures were taken.

"I’m being totally honest with you, the honesty comes from my heart," Driggers said. "I have watched the video. And I was sickened by what I saw. And I have not watched it since."

He said that not every officer is CPR-certified. He and the mayor said they had not seen all of the video evidence, including what was taken from a cruiser dash-cam and was turned over to state investigators.

The shooting death comes amid a national debate about police use of force, particularly against unarmed black men.

Slager remained held without bond in Charleston County jail. The mayor said that Slager's wife, who is eight months pregnant, will still be covered by the city’s insurance until the baby is born.

“We think it’s the humane thing to do,” he added.


— Erik Ortiz