Witness who filmed fatal SC police shooting comes forward: Walter Scott ‘didn’t deserve this’
NBC News released footage on Wednesday evening of an interview with the South Carolina man who filmed the fatal shooting of 50-year-old Walter Scott at the hands of a North Charleston police officer.
“Mr. Scott didn’t deserve this,” Feidin Santana told Nightly News host Lester Holt. “There were another ways that can be used to get him arrested, and that wasn’t the proper way to do that.”
Santana said he was walking to work last Saturday when he witnessed the confrontation between Scott and 33-year-old Officer Slager.
“They were down on the floor before I started recording,” Santana recalled. “I remember the police had control of the situation. He had control of Scott. And Scott was trying just to get away from the Taser.”
Slager originally said that Scott reached for the Taser. The footage shows something dropping away from the officer as Scott runs away. Slager is then seen firing at him seven times, pausing, then firing an eighth time.
The officer is then seen ordering Scott — who is already laying on the ground after being hit several times — to put his arms behind his back, and handcuffing Scott. The footage shows a second officer arriving on the scene but failing to use CPR on Scott, contrary to an incident report on the shooting. Slager later drops the object near Scott, then puts it back in his belt.
“I knew right away that I had something in my hands,” Santana told Holt. He said he became emotional when he turned the video over to Scott’s family.
Slager was fired from the department and currently faces murder charges.
“It’s not something that no one can feel happy about,” Santana said of revealing Slager’s actions. “He has his family, Mr. Scott also has his family. But I think he [Slager] made a bad decision, and you pay for your decisions in this life.”
Holt said that more footage from the interview would air on Thursday morning on The Today Show. The first excerpt can be seen below.