Here is what we know so far about Walter L. Scott, the man who was fatally shot in the back five times by a white North Charleston, S.C. police officer on Saturday.
Patrolman 1st Class Michael T. Slager, 33, who shot Scott, has been charged with murder and is being denied bond in a local jail.
1. Scott served in the U.S. military: Scott was a Coast Guard veteran and a father of four, the Philadelphia Daily News reports.
2. Scott served his nation with honor: He was with the Coast Guard two years before receiving an honorable discharge, the Associated Press reported.
2. He was a charismatic man: “He was the most outgoing out of all of us,” Scott’s brother, Anthony, said Tuesday, according to WXPI.com. “He was well-known in the community.”
3. Scott has a history of nonviolent arrests, according to the North Charleston Post and Courier. Scott faced one violent charge in his lifetime: He was accused of assault and battery in 1987. The other charges stemmed from owed child support and contempt of court. “He doesn’t have some type of big violent past or arrest record,” Stewart said.
4. At the time, he was wanted for arrest on a Family Court warrant, Charleston County sheriff’s Maj. Eric Watson said Tuesday.
5. The family admits that Scott absolutely did not want to go to jail, which probably explains why he tried to flee the officer twice before being shot five times in the back.
The U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement that they are dispatching one of their organizations, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, to work with the State Law Enforcement Division, which typically investigates officer-involved shootings in South Carolina, and the state’s attorney general to examine any civil rights violations in Scott’s death.
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said during a news conference that Slager had made a “bad decision.”
“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” Summey said. “If you make a bad decision, don’t care if you’re behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision.”
Gov. Nikki Haley said in a statement late Tuesday that the shooting “is not acceptable” and not indicative of how most officers in the state act.
“This is a sad time for everyone in South Carolina,” she said. “I urge everyone to work together to help our community heal.”