It has been a year and a half since Walter Scott’s death. I wrote about it here… but basically, he was running from a cop and was shot IN THE BACK As HE WAS RUNNING AWAY. The video makes this crystal clear:
There’s even indication that the cop planted evidence on/near the body. Yes,. look at the video.
But despite an unarmed victim, forensics proving he was shot multiple times in the back, a police officer who made a false report, and clear video showing the entire debacle, Slager was not convicted of murder or manslaughter in his trial this week. A lone juror spared him that fate with a refusal to convict. That triggered a mistrial.
Something is horribly wrong with the system.
Fortunately, the prosecutor will retry the case. Again. For the THIRD time.
Even operating under a standard in which police officers get the benefit of every reasonable doubt, it seems hard to understand why the cops involved wouldn’t have been convicted of manslaughter. The fact that neither was convicted is the latest evidence that the system as it now exists does not reliably punish cops for even egregious killings.
The policy debate around policing has lately focused on the tactics and rhetoric of Black Lives Matter (while mostly ignoring its excellent Campaign Zero roadmap for policy reform). Whatever conservatives think of Black Lives Matter, it is long past time that more of them join with libertarians and liberals in an effort to address this problem: Armed agents of the state are killing American citizens at rates far higher than other developed countries, and even when videos show them killing unarmed individuals, some are somehow getting away with it.