Goldie Taylor at the Daily Beast writes personally and with passion about the miscarriage of justice that just happened in the Walter Scott case. Here’s her background on the murder:
Officer Michael Slager fired eight shots in all, five of them piercing Scott’s back from around 17 feet away, and then calmly planted his Taser near the dead man’s body. Rather than attempt to render medical aid, Slager handcuffed Scott as he lay bleeding out in the dirt and grass.
In this case, even the police chief and Nikki Haley, erstwhile Trump cabinet candidate and governor of South Carolina were horrified by Slager’s actions.
According to reports, 11 of the 12 members of the jury had decided on a guilty verdict on one of the charges against Slager, but the remaining holdout cited “conscience.” Later, some jurors were reported to be “undecided.” Even though the entire thing was captured on video, including the planting of evidence. Planted. Evidence. Captured only because a bystander happened to be there, taping the entire thing. Otherwise, Slager would have gotten away with it. Indeed, his cool expectation that he would suggests an endemic practice.
That “conscience” is what bothers me most. To watch an officer of the law—or anyone, for that matter—repeatedly and coolly shoot someone in the back and not be able to appropriately assign guilt should trouble all of us. That fact is, too few are troubled by what happened that day. Too few of us, black or white, believe it could happen to us.
It’s a terrible miscarriage of justice by a jury of 11 white people and one black man that requires Scott’s family to relive the entire trial–and by necessity, the events around his death–again. A nightmare inside of a nightmare stuck on endless repeat.
Scott was a father, a Gen-Xer, and a Navy veteran. He was a human who was slaughtered not accidentally, not in the heat of the moment, but brutally and deliberately, from 17 feet way, shot in the back 5 times by a man who was going for 8 shots and then tried to frame his victim for his own death.
All because Scott ran away. People want to focus on why Scott ran. But it doesn’t matter. Running isn’t a crime that warrants an extrajudicial death sentence.
What does matter? Black lives do. Black lives matter.
The prosecutor in the case has said that her office will retry Slager. Let’s hope that the conscience that they bring with them is one that metes out appropriate justice.