justified murder, over and over again
Bullwhips Crackin' in Northern California
By Marc Ash,
Reader Supported News
Here is a scandal involving a major urban American police department that is going almost entirely ignored.
San Francisco evokes images of hippies, gay tolerance, and world class dining. It is viewed as the most liberal major American city. But there is another, darker side to San Francisco and the region that surrounds it.
It began with a federal investigation into allegations of corruption. Ultimately San Francisco police officers would be charged with stealing cash and other property from a wide range of suspects. One of the officers charged, Reynaldo Vargas, would later testify, “If I saw something I wanted, I took it.”
Vargas and other officers would also implicate a colleague who would emerge as a central player and focus of the investigation and subsequent trail: Sergeant Ian Furminger.
Furminger and Officer Edmond Robles were both convicted of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit theft, theft of more than $5,000 worth of property from a federally funded program, and another charge, conspiracy against civil rights.
From all appearances, it looked like a disturbing but otherwise fairly routine tale of cops gone bad in the big city. But there was another, far more explosive component contained in the evidence. Something that would put the entire department on trial.
As part of their investigation into corruption charges, the FBI had obtained copies of Furminger’s phone records including, most notably, his text messages. What was contained in the messages made the corruption problems pale in comparison:
There was yet another exchange: Furminger comments to another SFPD officer, “I hate to tell you this but my wife friend [sic] is over with their kids and her husband is black! If [sic] is an Attorney but should I be worried?” The other officer responds, “Get ur pocket gun. Keep it available in case the monkey returns to his roots. Its [sic] not against the law to put an animal down.” To which Furminger responds, “Well said!”
The reality is that it really isn’t against the law to put an animal, or a human being defined as an animal, down as long as it is the law doing it.
As Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson kept firing his gun time and time again at unarmed Michael Brown, who had his hands raised, did he see Michael as something more than an animal to be put down?
As NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo choked the life out of Eric Garner in the middle of a busy New York City street in front of countless witnesses, did he really believe that he was killing a human being?
As half the Police Department of the City of Cleveland, Ohio, defied the orders of their commanders chasing unarmed Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, firing 137 shots at them and ultimately executing them at point-blank range, surely they could not have seen Russell and Williams as human beings.
As 12-year-old Tamir Rice lay dying on the snow-covered playground, the officer who had just shot him and his partner refused to allow Tamir’s mother and sister come to him. They threatened Tamir’s mother, Samaria, with arrest and literally tackled 14-year-old Tajai to prevent her from getting to her dying brother’s side. The same remorse, the same concern, the same dignity they would have afforded an animal.
Jessie Hernandez was a beautiful 17-year-old lesbian, hispanic girl. She was also joy-riding in a stolen car. Although no evidence exists to support their claims, the Denver police say that they feared for their lives and that is why they shot Jessie through the heart, both lungs, her liver, her pelvis, and her leg. As her body struggled for life, the police dragged her unconscious from the car, threw her face down on the ground, and handcuffed her. She was unarmed. An animal they had just put down.
In a scene from the 1988 movie, Mississippi Burning, an FBI agent asks a young African American boy for any shred of information that could shed light on what might have happened to missing civil rights workers Michael (Mickey) Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman. The boy simply replies, “You should start with the sheriff’s office.” Indeed, all three men were abducted and murdered by Neshoba County, Mississippi, sheriff's deputies acting under “color of law.” Put down just as though they were animals.
The tradition of violent racists infiltrating American police agencies has a rich history. While 20th century southern law enforcement agencies attracted the most attention for harboring racist elements, racist and homophobic individuals are deeply embedded in law enforcement throughout the U.S. to this day.
San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr so far has set the number of officers engaging in racist or homophobic remarks at eight, including a captain. But that’s just what Suhr is prepared to talk about publicly. Suhr is calling for their resignations.
However, roughly one hundred miles northeast of San Francisco in the state’s capital, Sacramento, there is another case with equally troubling racial overtones. African American community civil rights activist Maile Hampton is charged by Sacramento Police with the crime of lynching. The logic they apply is that Hampton attempted to pull a fellow demonstrator from the grasp of a police officer. The charge stems from the language in a 1933 law that was originally intended to mitigate real lynchings by angry mobs who would forcibly remove detainees from police custody, often resulting vigilante-style murders.
Applying this law to demonstrators who are often demanding an end to racist police practices has become a favorite tactic of California police. An exacerbation of existing racial tensions, with intent, again under “color of law.”
FBI investigators rather stumbled into the original racist text messages by Ian Furminger as part of a corruption investigation. The sentiments expressed by Furminger and at least eight other SFPD officers are now in the public record.
It is certainly the tip – not the iceberg.
Marc Ash was formerly the founder and Executive Director of Truthout, and is now founder and Editor of Reader Supported News.
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.
killer cops are like predator priests, moved around to protect them and the 'reputation' of the establishment while endangering everyone else...
High schooler, 17, killed by Illinois police in broad daylight was shot twice in the back, autopsy reveals
A teenager killed by police in Illinois on Saturday afternoon was shot twice in the back, an autopsy has revealed.
Justus Howell, 17, died when officers fired one bullet into his heart and another through his shoulder.
Police responding to news of 'an argument' at 2pm had chased Justus down the street before opening fire, according to a spokesman for Zion Police.
The high school senior, who had moved to the area from Wisconsin in February, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Killed: Justus Howell, 17, was shot twice in the back by police in Zion, Illinois, on Saturday afternoon
His mother, LaToya Howell, told Fox News Justus wanted to be a surgeon.
'Justus was a young man murdered by Zion police,' she said.
'As he was fleeing from police, they killed my son. He couldn't have been a threat if he was running.'
A resident who lives feet from the scene, Bobbie Vaughan, spoke to Fox to describe what she heard.
The teenager, who had moved to Zion from Wisconsin in February, wanted to be a surgeon, his mother said
Witnesses said they heard an officer say they had shot the boy. It is not known if a cop is suspended over it
'I heard the officer tell the other officer, "I shot him,"' she said. 'They were shaking him, but he didn't move.
'He was on his stomach, so they turned him over and the police officer I was with gave him CPR.'
According to the Chicago Tribune, officers tended to the teenager before he was taken to hospital.
It is not known whether an officer has been suspended while the shooting is investigated.
The Zion police chief didn't return calls Monday seeking comment about the autopsy results. Toxicology results are pending.
Sheriff Ludicrously Claims Deputy Had to Beat Pregnant Woman Because she “Reached for his Gun”
By Jay Syrmopoulos on April 9, 2015
Greenville, Texas – On Wednesday Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks finally addressed the viral video of one of his deputies punching a 38-week pregnant woman, Deanna Robinson-Katsuki, numerous times.
Anyone that was hoping for transparency and accountability had that thought quickly jettisoned after listening to Meeks’ statements during the press conference.
In an awkward, but unsurprising display of toeing the “thin blue line,” Meeks attempted to justify the actions of his officer. In his statement, Meeks forwards a bizarre narrative that the pregnant mother, seen being punched numerous times on video, was actually reaching for the officer’s gun.
A partial transcript of Meek’s press conference is as follows:
We have all seen the 31 second video and the narratives reads: “Hunt County Officers Beat Pregnant Woman” and we can draw a conclusion by looking at that video and we can say, yes, it appears that the deputy is beating a woman.
Another narrative could read: “Pregnant woman attempts to take Deputy’s gun”. Now, you can draw a conclusion by looking at the 31 second clip that could be a possibility? I believe that we can say that is a possibility. Now, will most folks look at that possibility? Probably not.
So, which narrative is correct? I don’t know…I wasn’t there…That is for the Texas Rangers to determine. But, let me say this. This is a lot more evidence out there than that 31 second clip. I believe, before judgement is rendered, the whole truth needs to be examined and a decision made as to what is the facts of this case.
So, what are my actions going to be? Nothing at this point of the investigation. Once the investigation is over and evidence shows that my deputy violated policy and/or committed a crime, then he will be prosecuted to the fullest if a criminal act occurred.
If the evidence shows that my deputy did nothing wrong, then I will back him 100%
As we reported earlier this week, Hunt County Sheriff’s Department went to Robinson-Katsuki’s residence to assist CPS in taking custody of a child after a familial dispute.
Deputies claim that they presented a warrant immediately upon their arrival and allowed her to read it, at which point Robinson-Katsuki began to yell that they weren’t taking her child and attempted to close the door.
Robinson-Katsuki, a decorated Air Force Veteran, who once received the Airman’s Medal for helping drag soldiers from a burning plane in Iraq, has a drastically different accounting of the events that transpired.
She claims that she informed them that nobody was taking her child without a court order or warrant. As she attempted to close the door, the officers plowed through, pushing her up against the counter hard enough to leave serious bruising on her third trimester belly, and then punching her numerous times.
After being assaulted, Robinson was jailed and charged with resisting arrest, assault on a public servant and interference in child custody. She maintains that she only was struggling to protect her unborn baby, as she was pressed up against the counter with such force.
During the press conference, Meeks claimed that Robinson-Katsuki became violent and struck one of the deputies in the face, a claim that Robinson vehemently denies.
“That notion is ludicrous,” Robinson-Kutsuki said. “There is nothing that I did, and there is nothing in my mind that exists that warrants that kind of treatment on an extremely pregnant woman.”
Meeks was questioned by reporters about his earlier claims accusing Robinson-Katsuki of trying to grab the deputy’s gun. He maintains that after watching the video and discussing the event with his officer, the pregnant woman posed a threat to the officer, and he reacted accordingly.
“From what I understand, she had got some of his ammo belt off and was reaching for his gun when he delivered the blows to keep her from reaching his service revolver,” Meeks said.
“I don’t know how many blows that the deputy made. I believe by looking at it that he was trying to keep her hands away from his gun. If someone gets your own gun, you can be killed by a pregnant woman as well as you could a 16-year-old child.”
The events surrounding the murder of Walter Scott, which illuminated the stark contrast between what an officer claims happened versus what an actual video of the same incident really shows, should give serious pause whenever we hear about an incident of police violence.
Meeks announced that the officer will face absolutely no disciplinary measures at this point and that the Texas Rangers are handling the investigation.
According to NBC 5, Robinson-Katsuki’s attorney told them that they don’t perceive an investigation by the Texas Rangers to be independent. They are also calling for the officer to be removed from duty pending the outcome of the investigation.
“There is absolutely no excuse and no justification for what happened to me,” Robinson-Katsuki said.
The absolute disconnect with reality in Meeks’ statements gives you a very clear glimpse into the jaded mind of law enforcement and of the gang like mentality of its members. Even in the face of video evidence Meeks continues to fabricate a narrative that holds the victim responsible for the illicit actions of law enforcement.
If you are sick and tired of cops lying and using the same old excuses to violently assault and kill innocent citizens, please share this article and help empower others. Knowledge is truly our greatest weapon in the fight against tyranny.
Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, freethinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.
Latest on police shooting: Bystander fears for safety
In this April 4, 2015, frame from video provided by Attorney L. Chris Stewart representing the family of Walter Lamer Scott, Scott appears to be running away from City Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager, right, in North Charleston, S.C.
Slager was charged with murder Tuesday, hours after law enforcement officials viewed the dramatic video that appears to show Slager shooting a fleeing Scott several times in the back.
By: Associated Press
Walter Scott's Death Isn't a Shock for Locals in South Carolina
Records show that while nearly half the residents of North Charleston are black, the majority of the city's police force is white.
Statistics provided by North Charleston police on Thursday show that of the department's 324 officers, 60 of them — or about 18 percent — are black. The department has 256 white officers accounting for about 79 percent of the force, and eight Hispanic officers accounting for nearly 3 percent.
Those figures are current as of March.
By comparison, U.S. Census statistics from 2010 show that about 47 percent of the city's 98,000 residents are black. Those figures are the most recent available.
Court records show that Walter L. Scott, the black man fatally shot by a white police officer in South Carolina, had had been jailed three times for failure to pay child support.
In late 2008, Scott was sent to the Charleston County Detention Center for six months for contempt of court for failing to pay about $6,800 in back child support.
In 2011, he spent a night in jail when he was $7,500 behind in child support.
And in 2012, he spent a night in jail when he owed $3,500 in back child support.
Scott's record also showed that he had received several traffic tickets.
Scott had four children.
His family and the family attorney have said Scott may have tried to run from the officer before he was shot Saturday because he owed child support and didn't want to go back to jail.
The man who recorded a police officer shooting a black man says he fears for his own safety since he was identified as the person who videotaped what happened.
Feidin Santana told NBC's "Today" show on Thursday that people now know where he lives and works. He says he considered staying anonymous for a time.
Santana says "lives changed in a matter of seconds" when he recorded the shooting on his way to work.
His attorney, Todd Rutherford, appeared on the show with him. Rutherford says Santana is afraid, noting the first thing he asked Thursday morning was, "How can I get protection?"
Rutherford says Santana never saw the officers perform CPR or other life-saving measures.
A prominent defense attorney is now representing Michael Slager, the white officer charged with murder after he was recorded shooting a black man as he ran away during a traffic stop.
Andy Savage is now representing Slager, according to court records. Slager had been denied bond at a brief hearing Tuesday, where he was not accompanied by a lawyer.
Savage previously represented Eddie Bullard, a 15-year North Charleston police veteran who was fired from the department after authorities said he shot his own protective vest on July 4, 2012, and then reported that someone had attacked him.
The charge was dropped after Bullard pleaded guilty to providing false information to police and was fined $159.
Savage did not immediately respond to phone and email messages on Thursday.
Investigators collect evidence after a North Charleston police officer fatally shot a man Saturday morning. Paul Zoeller/staff
Slager thinks he properly followed all procedures and policies before resorting to deadly force, lawyer David Aylor said in a statement.
“This is a very tragic event for all of the families,” Aylor said. “I believe once the community hears all the facts of this shooting, they’ll have a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding this investigation.”
Monday’s developments filled in some of the blanks in what was South Carolina’s 11th police shooting of the year. Authorities publicly identified Slager, an officer with the city since December 2009, and gave his reason for the traffic stop that led to the fatal confrontation. Police documents also revealed that Slager announced within seconds why he had fired.
“Shots fired, and the subject is down,” he said into his radio, according to an incident report. “He took my Taser.”
Walter Lamer Scott, 50, of Meadowlawn Drive in West Ashley died soon after the encounter near Craig Street and Remount Road.
He has been arrested about 10 times in his lifetime, mostly for failure to appear for court hearings and to pay child support.
The only indicator of violence in his past came with his first arrest in 1987 on an assault and battery charge.
Slager, 33, served honorably in the military before joining the North Charleston Police Department more than five years ago, Aylor said.
He has never been disciplined during his time on the force, the attorney added.
A complaint Slager was on a boarding team when he served in the Coast Guard in Port Canaveral, Fla., his personnel file showed. The 91 pages of documents were released Monday after The Post and Courier filed a S.C. Freedom of Information Act request.
He passed courses on how to use the Taser X26 when he was hired in North Charleston and performed well on shooting tests with his .45-caliber Glock 21. Supervisors indicated in performance reviews that he met expectations as an officer and kept a tidy patrol car.
Of the two complaints in his file, one dealt with a resident’s allegation of unnecessary use of force.
Slager went to the man’s Delaware Avenue home in September 2013 to investigate a burglary. When the resident opened the door for Slager, the burglary victim yelled that he wasn’t the suspect, the documents stated.
The man also insisted that he wasn’t the perpetrator, but he later told internal investigators that Slager threatened to use a Taser against him if he didn’t come outside. When the man followed the order and stepped outside, he said Slager “Tased (him) for no reason and ... slammed him and dragged him.”
But another officer there said Slager had been forced to use the device during a struggle. The investigators exonerated Slager of wrongdoing.
Slager will keep working during a State Law Enforcement Division investigation into whether Saturday’s shooting was justified, but Pryor said he would be on administrative duty.
While the police released Slager’s file, one lawmaker said the episode again points out the need for body-mounted cameras whose footage can stave off community speculation.
The city is expected to get 115 of the devices through $275,000 in state funding for that and other anti-crime initiatives.
Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, said it can’t come soon enough. Gilliard has authored legislation to require police agencies to outfit their officers with cameras. As an alternative, he also offered a bill calling for a study of such programs. But he expressed frustration because the measures had not advanced.
“People will say I’m using this (shooting) as a springboard,” he said. “But I’ve said these types of incidents will continue, and when they do, it’s going to be unfortunate that we are not using modern-day technology to stop the speculation and rumors.”
The authorities have not said whether anyone else saw Slager’s struggle with Scott.
No one called Charleston County’s 911 Center after the gunfire, and Slager’s communications with dispatchers will not be made public until SLED approves it, county spokeswoman Natalie Hauff said.
SLED spokesman Thom Berry said prosecutors also would have to review the recordings and be “agreeable and amenable” to their release.
‘Quickly escalated’North Charleston community leaders have mentioned the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in urging residents not to grow violent in light of Scott’s death. But, like Missouri police said of Brown, Slager saw Scott as a threat when the officer decided to pull the trigger.
Around 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Slager noticed a Mercedes-Benz sedan with a brake light that was “out and not working,” the police spokesman said. He stopped his cruiser behind the sedan that had pulled into Advance Auto Parts at 1945 Remount Road.
“What started out as a routine traffic stop quickly escalated after the driver fled,” Slager’s attorney said.
Scott ran down Craig Road, which parallels the store’s parking lot and stretches southward toward the Singing Pines community. A passenger in his car stayed put.
Slager told other officers through his radio that he had gotten into a foot chase, according to the report. The police have not given details about the confrontation that followed behind the Mega Pawn shop at 5654 Rivers Ave.
But with other officers on the way to help, Slager announced on his radio that he had “deployed” his Taser, according to the report. But it didn’t work.
The statement from Slager’s attorney, though, did not say that Slager actually fired the device. Aylor said he could not offer further clarification until the officer talks with investigators.
“When confronted, Officer Slager reached for his Taser — as trained by the department — and then a struggle ensued,” Aylor said. “The driver tried to overpower Officer Slager in an effort to take his Taser.”
‘Felt threatened’Seconds later, the report added, he radioed that the suspect wrested control of the device. Even with the Taser’s prongs deployed, the device can still be used as a stun gun to temporarily incapacitate someone.
Slager “felt threatened and reached for his department-issued firearm and fired his weapon,” his attorney added.
The report indicated that Slager fired multiple times, but it was not specific.
Backup officers did first aid and CPR on Scott until paramedics showed up. But Scott was pronounced dead.
Loved ones have said that Scott was a family man who recently got engaged. They insisted that he wasn’t violent.
His most serious arrests came decades ago, according to his SLED rap sheet.
County police officers arrested him in 1987 on a charge of assault and battery, and he was convicted in 1991 of possession of a bludgeon.
Ten years passed before he was arrested twice in 2001 on contempt charges. He would face several similar charges occasionally during the next decade until his last arrest in 2012.
He also had convictions from 2008 for driving under suspension and having an open alcohol container in his car.
Anthony Scott met with the police near the scene soon after his brother was shot. The report did not specify, though, whether he had been the passenger in the Mercedes.
The police took his cellphone as evidence. The next day, he promised in a public statement to find out the truth about what happened.
Dave Munday contributed to this report.
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414
Southern California Deputies Caught on Video Beating Surrendering Man for More Than Two Minutes
by: Carlos Miller
Knowing they were being video recorded by a news helicopter hovering above, Southern California deputies did not let that stop them from repeatedly punching and kicking a man who had already surrendered by lying flat on his stomach after he was tased earlier this afternoon.
Up to nine San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies can be seen running up to the suspect to kick and punch him, angry at having been forced to chase him through the desert.
Sheriff John McMahon told the San Bernardino Sun that “members of the Specialized Investigations Detail are responding to conduct the criminal investigation,” which is just a fancy way of saying deputies will be investigating deputies.
the rush to provide video cams for the police will not change anything other than someone will make a lot of money...
other than the video, we would not have any chance at justice... other than the video, it would be just one more police killing and one more dead nigger.
we are really dependent upon citizens who will risk filming police murder...
How many officers helped 'killer cop' to cover-up the shooting of unarmed black man before video emerged? Mayor refuses to say if anyone else will face justice at angry press conference
Local authorities refused to say on Wednesday whether other police officers will be charged in the cover-up of an unarmed black father's fatal shooting by a white cop.
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey would not answer questions on the involvement of other members of the force in the killing of Walter Scott, 50, who was shot five times in the back by Officer Michael Slager in South Carolina.
The 33-year-old patrolman, who is white, initially defended his actions, saying he feared for his life after Scott wrestled his Taser gun from him during a scuffle when he pulled him over for a broken brake light on Saturday morning.
Four days later, anonymous cellphone footage emerged and blew Slager's story wide open.
The video showed the officer firing eight shots at Scott, a father-of-four, from around 20 feet away while the man had his back turned and was fleeing. Sagler then cuffed Scott's lifeless body and was seen dropping an object - possibly his service-issue Taser - by his side.
The cop was charged with murder on Tuesday and could face the death penalty.
During a chaotic press conference on Wednesday, demonstrators grew angry after the mayor took over questions directed at Police Chief Eddie Driggers who stepped back from the podium.
Mayor Summey refused to answer questions on other cops' involvement, citing an independent investigation underway by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Slager was fired one day after his murder charge but his wife, who is eight months' pregnant, will still receive insurance from the city until after her baby was born because it was the 'humane thing to do', the mayor said.
This as the FBI and the Justice Department's civil rights prosecutors announced on Wednesday there would be a federal probe
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey refused to say whether other officers were involved in the fatal shooting of unarmed black father, Walter Scott, on Saturday. Police chief Eddie Driggers avoided some questions but did say he had been sickened by video of his officer shooting the man dead
Opening fire: Michael Slager, a police officer in Charleston, South Carolina, was caught on video shooting dead 50-year-old black man Walter Scott after reportedly stopping him over a broken tail light on Saturday
The 33-year-old patrolman (pictured standing over Scott's lifeless body having just handcuffed him) had initially defended his actions, saying he feared for his life after Scott wrestled his Taser gun from him during a scuffle. A video released Tuesday contradicted his story
Killing: Walter Scott, left, was killed by Michael Slager, right. Scott was a U.S. Coast Guard veteran. Police officer Michael Sagler, (pictured right in his prison mugshot), who has been charged with his murder also was a member of the Coast Guard
A man takes a photo as others look at a memorial and flowers placed near the site where Walter Scott was killed in North Charleston
People participate in a rally to protest the death of Walter Scott, who was killed by police in a shooting, outside City Hall on April 8, 2015 in North Charleston, South Carolina
Mayor Summey and his wife, along with the police chief, visited the Scott family on Wednesday. Mayor Summey said: 'This has been a horrible tragedy. There have been two families that have been harmed greatly - both the victim's and the officer's family.'
The mayor continued: 'I was taken aback by the warm and kind reception that we received from Scott family. They are an outstanding family within our community. The mother and father are wonderful people and they are suffering.
' was taken aback by the warm and kind reception that we received from Scott family. They are an outstanding family within our community. The mother and father are wonderful people and they are suffering.
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey
'Please pray for this family. We will be there to support them for the funeral with a police escort. Give them the utmost respect and that for the deceased.'
Scott, a veteran of the U.S. Coastguard, leaves a fiancée, his siblings and four children.
The mayor said that 250 body cameras were going to installed on police officers' uniforms and that drafting of a policy for use was already underway.
Chief Driggers told the press conference that he was 'sickened' by the video and had watched it only once.
No other officers had seen what happened at the shooting scene, according to Driggers.
When asked why no one had performed CPR on Scott, Driggers then said he believed one cop had taken off Scott's shirt and tried to perform life-saving measures.
Driggers said that he had spoken to Walter Scott Sr 'father to father' during a visit to the grieving family's home.
'I would ask you to give them the respect they deserve during this time,' Driggers said. 'We are doing our best as a police department not only to serve but to protect during this time. We are going to continue to strive to do what's right.'
He added: 'I have been praying for peace, peace for the family and peace for this community.'
Before the press conference on Tuesday, demonstrators held up signs and chanted: 'This is what democracy looks like' and 'no justice, no peace'.
Driggers said his department had been under 'no obligation' to turn over the investigation to an independent body but did so 'because it was the right thing to do'.
Demonstrators gathered outside city hall earlier on Wednesday, holding signs which read Black Lives Matter, to protest against the latest cop killing at a time of mounting unrest over police use of force in the U.S. - particularly against black men.
Officer Michael Slager, 33, was caught on videotape holding an object - possibly his Taser - after he shot dead unarmed father-of-four Walter Scott whose body can be seen lying on the ground to the left of the screen
Officer Michael Slager was caught on video tape on Saturday picking up an object - possibly his Taser - from where the confrontation started with Walter Scott and appearing to move it over to the father-of-four's dead body
Slager appeared to be unaware he was being filmed when he fired eight shots at Scott then handcuffed his lifeless body before jogging back (pictured) to collect something he had dropped around 20 feet away
The officer appeared to drop his Taser next to the 50-year-old father-of-four's body in the vacant lot on Saturday in North Charleston. The officer's earlier statement of the shooting did not add up to what a video clip revealed on Tuesday
Walter Scott was seen on camera fleeing from Officer Michael Slager, who draws his weapon in a shocking sequence captured on Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina, which led to Scott's death
Gunned down: Former coast guard Walter Scott is pictured above crumpling to the ground after the eighth shot is fired by Officer Slager
Scott collapsed face-down on a patch of grass. Slager then walked over, shouted at him to put his hands behind his back, then handcuffed him
Aftermath: Officer Slager is pictured standing over Walter Scott and feeling for a pulse after he put the man's fallen body in handcuffs. According to police reports, officers performed CPR on the 50-year-old father - but the cop was not filmed giving any medical assistance
A law enforcement colleague of Slager then arrived and put on blue medical gloves before handling the body, but was not seen giving any medical assistance
WHO IS INVOLVED? THE KEY PLAYERS IN THE FATAL POLICE SHOOTING OF WALTER SCOTT
MURDER SUSPECT: OFFICER MICHAEL SLAGER
Michael Thomas Slager was a police officer in North Charleston. He's charged with murder. Video shows him firing eight times at a black man who runs away from him after a traffic stop.
Slager is white. He's married, and his wife is eight months pregnant, officials said on Wednesday. The city will cover health insurance until after the baby is born even though Slager has been fired, the mayor said. Officials said they didn't know whether Slager has other children.
Slager was denied bond at a brief hearing Tuesday. He wasn't accompanied by a lawyer. If convicted, he could face 30 years to life in prison.
Slager served in the United States Coast Guard and had been with North Charleston police for five years.
THE VICTIM: WALTER L. SCOTT
Walter L. Scott, a black man, was fatally shot Saturday. He was initially pulled over because his brake light was out.
Scott may have tried to run from the officer because he owed child support, which can send people to jail in South Carolina until they pay it back, his father and a family attorney said. His father said Scott didn't want to go back to jail.
Scott had four children, was engaged and had been honorably discharged from the U.S. Coast Guard. There were no violent offenses on his record, the family's attorney said. Family members have indicated they plan to sue the police department.
Scott had been in a relationship with the mother of a player on the University of Mississippi football team, according to a statement from coach Hugh Freeze. For junior Fadol Brown, Scott 'served as a father figure' for years, the coach said.
A funeral will be held on Saturday.
THE POLICE CHIEF: EDDIE DRIGGERS
Eddie Driggers began his career in law enforcement in 1975 as an officer in North Charleston, according to a biography on the agency's website. In 1986, he joined the Charleston County Police Department and eventually became assistant sheriff.
In 2012, Mayor Keith Summey hired him to lead the North Charleston Police Department.
'Chief Driggers' philosophy is that the office does not belong to him, but rather to the people he serves,' the website says.
In 2012, Driggers was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church. He is married.
At a news conference Wednesday, protesters called for Driggers to answer questions instead of the mayor. But officials said that because the investigation of the shooting has been turned over to the State Law Enforcement Division, Driggers could not answer specific questions. He did say that the video 'sickened' him.
THE MAYOR: KEITH SUMMEY
Keith Summey was elected in October 1994 and has won re-election five times. He's widely credited with helping the city recover from the economic devastation when the Charleston Naval Base closed in the mid-1990s. Now the city is home to Boeing's South Carolina operations.
The Charleston County Coroner's Office announced on Wednesday that the 50-year-old's death was the result of multiple gunshot wounds to the back. The death was deemed a homicide.
The father of Walter Scott told the Today show on Wednesday that the family wanted justice for their son.
'It would have never come to light. They would have swept it under the rug, like they did with so many others,' Walter Scott Sr said.
Mr Scott Sr added: 'The way he [Slager] was shooting that gun, it looked like he was trying to kill a deer... I don't know whether it was racial, or it was something wrong with his head.'
The way he [Slager] was shooting that gun, it looked like he was trying to kill a deer... I don't know whether it was racial, or it was something wrong with his head.
The African-American victim's father, Walter Scott Sr, on his son's murder by a white cop in South Carolina
An outraged representative of Scott's family added: 'This was a cop who felt like he could get away with just shooting anybody that many times in the back.'
The footage began rolling in a vacant lot in North Charleston, moments before Slager fired his gun as Scott makes a break to flee.
Scott may have tried to run because he owed child support which can send you to jail in South Carolina, the family attorney said.
After a quick fire of seven shots, then a break until an eighth shot which left Scott on the ground, the cop made his way over to the man who was lying face down.
He then handcuffed his lifeless body before jogging back to where he had fired the shots to pick up an object from the ground - possibly the Taser.
The officer then returned to Scott where a second officer was on the scene. Slager can be seen on video tape appearing to drop an object next to the victim's body.
The footage also contradicted police claims that officers performed CPR on the suspect. It was only after two-and-a-half minutes that Slager was seen placing his hand on Scott's neck in an apparent attempt to check his pulse.
A black law enforcement colleague at the scene put on blue medical gloves before handling the body, but was not seen giving any medical assistance.
The two cops were later joined by a third officer, who also did not appear to tend to the victim. As soon as emergency responders arrived, they pronounced Scott dead at the scene.
Within hours of the footage, acquired by the Charleston Post and Courier, emerging on Tuesday, authorities filed the murder charges and arrested Slager.
Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson said the FBI would also investigate the shooting.
Walter Scott's brother, Anthony Scott, hugs visitors outside his home near North Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday. A police officer has been charged with his brother's murder
Walter Scott, 50, from North Charleston, South Carolina, leaves a fiancée, two siblings and four children. He was honorably discharged from the Coast Guard (right)
Mr Scott shared a picture on social media of his days in the U.S. Coastguard. According to his own caption, he is pictured on the far left
'It just tore my heart to pieces': Elderly mother of Walter Scott sobs as she describes the moment she saw her son gunned down by a police officer on video as family pledges to file a civil lawsuit The mother of Walter Scott sobbed on Wednesday as she recalled the moment her heart 'tore to pieces' as watched footage of her son, 50, running for his life in Charleston, South Carolina, on Saturday.
In an interview with GMA, Judy Scott said: 'When I looked at that tape, it was the most horrible thing I've ever seen, I am very, very upset concerning it it. I almost couldn't look at it.
'To see my son running defensively and being shot – it just tore my heart to pieces. I pray that this never happens to another person – this has to got to stop.'
Seated between her son, Anthony Scott, and the family's lawyer, Chris Stewart, Mrs Scott was visibly distressed as she added: 'From a child he has been raised in the church.
'From day one he sang in the choir, he played the drums he would call his mom every single day. They never got in trouble they had a beautiful childhood and I had no problem.'
Walter Scott's brother, Anthony, said when he arrived at the scene where his brother died he felt something was not right instantly.
'The police told me had died. That is all they gave me. I already knew he had been Tasered – I thought that's what had actually happened. He had gotten Tasered to death.
'But then my nephew told me he had died.'
The family's lawyer Chris Stewart said they will be 'seeking recovery to the full extent of the law'.
'We can see how disgraceful the incident this is. His civil rights were directly violated and we're going to be filing a major civil lawsuit against all the responsible parties from this tragedy.'
Walter Scott's parents, Judy and Walter Sr, spoke on Wednesday to say that they wanted justice for their son and if it had not been for the cellphone footage, his death would have been swept under the rug, 'like so many others'
Muhiydin D'Baha leads a group protesting the shooting death of Walter Scott at city hall in North Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday. Scott was killed by a North Charleston police office after a traffic stop on Saturday. The officer, Michael Thomas Slager, has been charged with murder
Nicole King, a friend of shooting victim Walter Scott, is comforted by friends during a rally in front of City Hall on Wednesday morning, pictured left, and right, Reverend Dr. Arthur Prioleau holds a sign during a protest
'To see my son running, it just tore my heart to pieces'
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HOW THE VIDEO CASTS DOUBT ON POLICE ACCOUNTS OF THE SHOOTING POLICE VERSION
Police officer Michael Slager said in a statement earlier this week that his encounter with Walter Scott began at around 9.30am on Saturday.
He said he pulled Scott's Mercedes over as a routine traffic stop for a broken brake light.
He said Scott then ran away into a vacant grassy lot where, at some point during the chase, the victim confronts Slager.
The officer then tried to use his Taser to subdue Scott, but claims the suspect grabbed the stun gun during the struggle, according to the statement.
According to police reports, Slager fired the stun gun, but it did not stop Scott.
At that point, the officer fired at Scott several times because he 'felt threatened,' Slager's statement said.
He added that his actions were in line with procedure.
Police then said Slager reported on his radio moments after the struggle: 'Shots fired and the subject is down. He took my Taser.'
His department said the officers then performed CPR and delivered first aid to the victim.
WHAT THE VIDEO SHOWS
Slager's account has been called into question after the video appears to show him shooting Scott in the back.
The footage begins in the vacant lot apparently moments after Slager fires his Taser.
Wires which administer the electrical current appear to be extending from Scott's body.
As Scott turns to run, Slager draws his pistol and, only when he is 15 to 20 feet away, starts to fire the first of the eight shots at his back.
The video shows Slager handcuffing Scott's lifeless body.
Footage then appears to show Slager jogging back to the point where the Taser fell to the ground, bringing it over to Scott's body around 30 feet away and dropping it next to him.
It is only after two-and-a-half minutes that Slager is seen placing his hand on Scott's neck in an apparent attempt to check his pulse.
A black colleague then arrives and puts on blue medical gloves before handling the body, but is not seen performing first aid.
They are joined by a third officer, who also does not appear to tend to the victim.
Keith Summey, the mayor of North Charleston, termed the killing a 'bad decision' at a press conference announcing the charges.
He said: 'When you're wrong, you're wrong. When you make a bad decision, don't care if you're behind the shield or a citizen on the street, you have to live with that decision.'
On Monday, Officer Slager's attorney had issued a statement on his behalf. He said the officer 'felt threatened and reached for his department-issued firearm and fired his weapon'.
The statement, reported by the The Post and Courier, added: 'Officer Slager believes he followed all the proper procedures and policies of the North Charleston Police Department'.
In the wake of the murder charges, the lawyer no longer represented the cop.
A lawyer for the Scott family on Tuesday said that the footage shows Slager 'casually' taking Scott's life, and acting as if there would be no repercussions.
Attorney L. Chris Stewart said: 'This was a cop who felt like he could get away with just shooting anybody that many times in the back. He just casually shot a man that many times in the back.'
He added: 'At the moment he turned and ran and was not a threat to anybody else that officer was completely unjustified.'
Jailed: Slager, pictured left, at a booking hearing in court on Tuesday, and, right, in police uniform, has been with North Charleston police since 2009. He stayed silent except to thank the judge
The attorney said the family would also pursue civil charges against Slager, saying they were angry at the way the police department sought to defend the police officer until the video emerged.
He also said that without the video, and the 'hero' who recorded it, there would have been no murder charges.
Stewart told TV crews: 'What happened today doesn't happen all the time - what if there was no video? What if there was no witness - or hero - to come forward?
This was a cop who felt like he could get away with just shooting anybody that many times in the back. He just casually shot a man that many times in the back.
Scott family attorney L. Chris Stewart
'The initial reports stated something totally different - the officer said Mr Scott attacked him and tried to use his Taser on him. But somebody was watching.'
Scott's brother, Anthony, spoke after his brother's death. He said Walter had a fiancée, two siblings and four children.
He told WCIV: '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.'
'He loved the [Dallas] Cowboys. We had planned to go to go see them play but I guess that won't happen now.'
At a press conference on Tuesday evening, Anthony Scott spoke out again.
He said: 'From the beginning, all we wanted was the truth... we can't get my brother back and my family is in deep mourning, but the process of justice has been served.
He later added: 'I don't wanna see anyone get shot down the way that my brother got shot down.
'I asked that everyone continue to pray for my family, that we get through this - because we need prayer.'
Grief: Scott's brother Anthony, right, spoke alongside his younger brother Rodney, left, at a press conference Tuesday
Meanwhile, the person who filmed the video was speaking with investigators and will come forward publicly 'at some point,' the family attorney said.
Activists planned to protest at North Charleston City Hall on Wednesday at 9.30am, but civil rights leaders have called for calm, with many praising the courage of the witness who filmed the killing for coming forward.
'This is what happens... when people are willing to step up and do the right thing for the right reasons,' State Representative Justin Bamber told reporters late on Tuesday.
The shooting took place in North Charleston, which is home to about 100,000 people, nearly half of whom are black, according to U.S. Census data from 2010.
'IT HAS TO END': ANGRY REACTIONS TO WALTER SCOTT SHOOTING FROM CELEBRITIES The shooting of Walter Scott by police officer Michael Slagerprovoked a wave of anger and grief from celebrities on Twitter.
Writer-director Joss Whedon tweeted: 'At this point, the Slager murder seems like a message, a mafia thing, like it's meant to shut people down or set them off. IT HAS TO END.'
TV anchor Geraldo Rivera added: 'No spin-video clearly shows white N. Charleston cop shooting fleeing black man 8 times in the back... If this guy's acquitted I'll join protest.'
R&B singer Janelle Monáe said: 'This brought tears to my eyes. #WalterScott reminds me of my uncle, family. Can only imagine the pain his fam feels.'
Musician Questlove wrote: 'I believe in waiting to hear everything before casting opinion. But allow me the preemptive...uh...shot of 'I feared for my life' my ass.'
By contrast, only about 18 per cent of its police department's roughly 340 officers are black, the local Post and Courier newspaper reported last year.
According to the Post and Courier, Scott had a warrant out for his arrest from family court at the time of his death.
He has been arrested around ten times, mostly for contempt of court charges for failing to pay child support, included one accusation of a violation stemming from an assault and battery charge in 1987, the paper reported.
Slager, also formerly a member of the Coast Guard, had not previously been disciplined by the department, the Post and Courier said.
He has two stepchildren and a pregnant wife.
The paper reported that in 2013 a man accused him of shooting him with a stun gun without cause, but that Slager was cleared of wrongdoing by an internal police investigation.
The shooting occurred at a time of heightened scrutiny over police officer shootings, particularly those that involve white officers and unarmed black suspects.
A grand jury declined to indict white Ferguson officer Darren Wilson over the fatal shooting of Brown last August, sparking nationwide protests.
Outgoing federal Attorney General Eric Holder has threatened Ferguson with a lawsuit if it fails to fulfill a set of recommendations to overhaul its law enforcement and municipal court system.
Thousands also protested in the streets last year after the death of 43-year-old Eric Garner, who gasped 'I can't breathe' as police arrested him for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.
In a separate case in South Carolina, a white police officer who shot a 68-year-old black man dead last year in his driveway was charged yesterday with discharging a gun into an occupied vehicle.
A prosecutor previously tried to indict North Augusta officer Justin Craven on a manslaughter charge in the February 2014 death of Ernest Satterwhite.
But a grand jury instead chose misconduct in office, which is a far lesser charge.
Craven chased Satterwhite for nine miles beyond city limits to the man's driveway in Edgefield County.
After Satterwhite parked, the officer repeatedly fired through the driver-side door, prosecutors said.
The 25-year-old officer faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the gun charge.
North Charleston is South Carolina's third-largest city and for years battled back from an economic slump caused by the closing of the Charleston Naval Base on the city's waterfront in the mid-1990s.
But now the city has bounced back in a big way, largely in part to the huge investment by Boeing.
The aircraft manufacturer has a 787 aircraft manufacturing plant in the city and employs about 7,500 people in South Carolina, most of them in North Charleston.
The Mercedes that Walter Scott was driving when he was stopped apparently over a burned-out tail light on Saturday morning by a cop in North Charleston