America has watched over and over the shocking cell phone video of the murder of Walter Scott in South Carolina by a North Charleston’s police officer. Most Americans are shocked at this senseless shooting of an unarmed black man running away from white police officer Michael Slager. Officer Slager fired his gun eight times and struck Mr. Scott four times in the back. Mr. Scott was stopped by the police officer for driving a Mercedes with a broken taillight. The officer and Mr. Scott, before the video was taken, had scuffled over the officer’s Taser. In the video, Mr. Scott ran from Officer Slager– without anything in Scott’s hands. The video further revealed the police officer apparently walking back to where the scuffle occurred, picking up the Taser and dropping it by Mr.Scott’s body. Officer Slager was charged with murder.
The Justice department’s data in 2007 reported that North Charleston is South Carolina’s third largest city. The city has a population of 100,000 with African Americans composing approximately 47 percent and White Americans about 37 percent of the population. The Police Department in North Charleston is 80 percent white.
We do not know, if Mr. Scott’s tragic death was the cruel action of a racist officer or just the work of a bad police officer. Hopefully, the complete truth will be revealed by the criminal trial of Officer Slager. We do know that our country has felt the impact of numerous unarmed black men and black teenagers shot by police officers during the past three years. Such shootings occurred before the last three years, but now we see the actual violence on cell phone videos recorded at the time of the incidents by ordinary shocked citizens.
I believe that most police officers are not racists, but there is a sizable number of officers who are bigoted and have used their authority to act upon their bigotry. Based upon my personal experiences as an inmate, I watched certain correctional officers who were racist and used their authority against inmates who were not white or christian. More than once, I heard correctional officers describe black inmates as “nothing better than monkeys in cages.”I watched certain officers goad a minority inmate to react in order to send the inmate to a punishment cell–solitary confinement.
It is time to weed out completely all officers who do not recognize and accept that all men and women are equal in the United States
By: Bradley Schwartz
Founder of prisonpath.com