Walter Scott

Back when I was a kid, one of my Little League teammates was a notorious racist.

He was white, he threw hard, he ran fast and he used “nigger” quite a bit. I didn’t like him. Never liked him. He was a bully and a thug and an asshole.

Ultimately, he became a New York City police officer.

I thought of this tonight as I sat horrified and watched the above video, of a man named Walter Scott being shot by Michael T. Slager, a South Carolina police officer. In case you’re one of those people who presumes justification when a white officer shoots a black man, well, watch the entire clip. Then watch it again. Scott, age 50, was stopped for having a broken taillight. He apparently got out of his car and started running (he owes child support, and a relative said he was probably afraid of going to jail). Slager chased him, fired a Taser, hit him with the Taser, chased some more, then fired eight shots at an unarmed man running in the opposite direction.

Again, watch the video.

I am sickened. Not merely because Walter Scott died, either. No, I’m sickened because I’m pretty sure I know what a lot of white people are thinking. Namely, dude surely deserved it. Scott, you see, had a record. According to the New York Times, he has been arrested approximately 10 times, usually related to failed child support payments. He was, the paper wrote, “arrested in 1987 on assault and battery charges and convicted in 1991 of possession of a bludgeon.” So, naturally, Scott did something wrong here. If he’d just obeyed the law, he’d be alive. Why did he have a cracked light? Why did he run? This death is on him—not the officer, who was just doing his job. Him. Why are blacks arrested and killed so often? Because they violate laws. Right?

Right?

Sigh.

I don’t see how any African-American feels comfortable with this nation’s law enforcement. If you’re a parent with a son, or even a daughter, do you want them near cops? Do you want them calling cops for help? By now, there are just too many awful instances of unjustifiable things happening to people because of skin color.

My teammate was a racist. Now he’s a police officer.

And little changes.

10 thoughts on “Walter Scott”

  1. Amy Chandler White

    Sometimes i look at a police officer and think, “what if i ran up to him and tried to get that gun and then say i was only kidding haha” but then i think, “hhmm that might result in my death” so i decide against it. simple decision to me. is it that hard of a decision to make? You didn’t mention nor does the video show this thug trying to take officer’s taser… #dontbringaknifetoagunfight

    1. A) By whose word do we have it that this “thug” tried to take the
      officer’s taser? Unless it was by a witness other than the officer who
      later dropped said taser next to the dying man he’d just shot (shown
      clearly on the video), I’m not giving that any credence. B) Even if this “thug”
      had grabbed for the taser, even if this “thug” had taken it, it wouldn’t justify
      this. He wasn’t using it. He was shot while running away. In the back.
      Wow, how courageous. Shooting an unarmed man (oh, excuse me, “thug”) in the back while he runs
      away. As horrific as this incident is, the most surprising thing about
      the entire video to me is that the officer didn’t shoot whoever was
      filming it. Clearly they were within range.

      1. Amy Chandler White

        Look up the definition of thug and tell me this guy didn’t qualify unless, ofcourse, you believe his criminal record was made up like him grabbing the taser was made up.

      2. Per Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: “thug: a brutal ruffian or assassin: GANGSTER, KILLER.” Doesn’t mention anything in my dictionary about guys with broken taillights or unpaid child support. So, no, this guy didn’t qualify.

        The fact that he had a criminal record does not make it okay to murder him.

      3. The police officer had his license plate number, it was not necessary to nonchalantly shoot at his back 8 times.

      4. Amy, you do know that his own police department now concedes the officer’s account was false and has charged him with murder, yeah?

      5. Amy Chandler White

        Ofcourse he was charged! No one wants any more looting, especially in Charleston. The author called the cop a thug as well. I guess that fits for you hypocrites. Listen, I’m done with this conversation. Time to play tennis with other law abiding citizens…enjoy your lives.

      6. concerned citizen

        OK, let’s make the argument that Walter Scott he was a straight up thug. He was also unarmed and running away from the officer and was shot multiple times in the back. The officer then tampered with evidence to make it APPEAR that this “thug” caused his own death by threatening this fine, upstanding officer of the law. If Walter Scott was a thug, then I can’t think of a word horrible enough for that murdering dirty cop Michael Slager.

  2. “I don’t see how any African-American feels comfortable with this nation’s law enforcement.”

    That is the only thing you said I have an issue with. I think the conflicts getting the publicity are usually the result of Media manipulation.
    That was the case in case of the cop wannabe, George Zimmerman shooting Trayvon Martin.
    I have zero respect for GZ but that was the first instance where the media manipulation was so blatant.
    Martin was 17, so what pictures did they put out? A 12 year old Trayvon. When I saw the picture I was as angry at GZ as I am now at Slager. When I found out it wasn’t a current picture I stepped back a bit. I looked a little closer at the facts and tuned out the hype.
    NBC edited the 911 tape to make it appear Zimmerman targeted a black in a hoodie. NBC not only apologized to Zimmerman for their reporting they also fired people for manipulating the tape – too late. The youngster in a hoodie is world renown. ABC also manipulated their reporting claiming there was no indication of any injuries to Zimmerman even though their own video coverage shows blood running down the back of his head.
    Manipulation, just like Hitler, just like Jim Jones, just like President Cheney and his puppet.
    Same situation in Ferguson. Officer Wilson was doing his job properly when Brown got killed but the media played it up as another unarmed teen. You even commented he was just a kid getting tobacco.
    The image I had was a 15-16 year old skinny kid.
    The reality was he was an adult 6’4″ nearly 300 pounds. If he had been prosecuted for his convenience store robbery he would have been prosecuted as an adult.
    Officer Wilson did everything right and lost his career.
    Ferguson did everything wrong, the police force was not a reflection of the community and they did profile.
    Profiling happens in this country but so far the Media/Journalists have done such a poor job of giving unbiased reporting I question the accuracy and the sincerity of the reporting.
    A couple days ago I was talking to a friend. White guy about 67. When he was young he was driving from Corvallis, Oregon to the coast. The highway goes through the town of Philomath. It was late at night. An officer pulled him over and asked my friend what he was doing driving through his town so late at night.
    Usually skin color has nothing to do with it.
    Some cops are bad and they get noticed, most cops are good and they get blamed.

Leave a Reply to Amy Chandler White Cancel reply