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WATCH: Police officer shoots fleeing man in the back 8 times; charged with murder

​A police officer in the US has been charged with murder after a video showed him fatally shooting at a man who was clearly running away.

The South Carolina state police has since arrested officer Michael Slager, 33, (below), with murder.


PHOTO: Reuters

Officer said "he feared for his life"

After the shooting, the police said that he had feared for his life because the man, Walter Scott, 50, had taken his Taser.

The officer stopped Scott because the tail light of his car was broken.

The Officer said that when Mr Scott ran away from the officer, he chased him into grassy field.

Slager then fired his Taser at Mr Scott, but police reports claimed that it did not stop him from running.

After the struggle, Slager reported: "Shots fired and the subject is down. He took my Taser."

Video shows that officer shot a fleeing man

But a video taken by a bystander that was given to The New York Times by the victim's family shows a sequence of events that differs from the police reports. 

After Slager fires his Taser at Mr Scott, the video shows that Mr Scott turns to run away from the officer. 

Slager then fires his gun and shoots eight times before Mr Scott falls to the ground.

Slager then runs to Mr Scott, who appears to be unconscious, and asks him to put his hands behind his arms.

No CPR is administered to the victim - even when other officers appear at the scene. 

North Charleston mayor Keith Summey described the shooting as a “bad decision,” local newspaper The Post and Courier reported.

“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,” the mayor said.

The victim’s family spoke out at a news conference after the officer’s arrest, saying they were grateful for the “hero” who recorded the video.

“If there wasn’t a video, would we know the truth? Or would we have just gone with what was reported earlier? But we know the truth now,” said Walter's brother Anthony in remarks broadcast on the MSNBC network.

South Carolina police told AFP they could not comment on the case as the investigation is ongoing.

“We are continuing to work on the investigation,” said Thom Berry from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Source: AFP, The New York Times 

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