Following the shooting of Walter Scott, a 50-year-old unarmed black man who was running away from the scene of a traffic stop, by Michael Slager, a 33-year-old white police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, the video a bystander recorded of the shooting challenges Slager’s initial report, and raises the question of how often weapons are planted on victims.
Arthur Aidala, a legal analyst for Fox News, addressed the topic on Fox & Friends on Wednesday, and pointed out the fact that the video taken by a bystander, Feidin Santana, appears to show Slager running back to the initial scene of the altercation, picking up his Taser, and then running back to Scott, and dropping the Taser next to Scott’s body.
Aidala went on to say that in his experience, planting a weapon on a victim was standard procedure for police officers in the 1980s and 90s.
“When I was in the DA’s office in the 80s and 90s, that was standard operating procedures,” Aidala said. “Police officers – I hate to say this – would keep a second gun that nobody knew about on their ankle, so if they ever killed someone they shouldn’t have they would take that gun out and leave it.”
Feidin Santana, a 23-year-old barber who immigrated to the US from the Dominican Republic, was the one who used his phone to record the shooting. In an interview with NBC News, Santana said that he turned in the video, because he thought the Scott family would like to know the truth.
As previously reported, Michael Slager has been charged with murdering Walter Scott, after firing eight shots at him as he ran away. There was a traffic stop prior to the shooting, where Slager pulled Scott over for a broken taillight. There was also a warrant out for Scott’s arrest because he owed child support payments.
Aidala said that in terms of Slager’s sentencing, there would be “no sympathy for this police officer” other than the fact that he is a “33-year-old human being who is getting paid $40,000 to protect his own life and protect everyone else’s life.”
“Nobody thinks this cop woke up that morning and said let me go kill somebody. He made split second decisions and they were wrong. Obviously he made wrong decisions,” Aidala said. “It’s going to be about, in my opinion, how much jail time does he serve.”