South Carolina police shooting: Authorities release dash cam video

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NORTH CHARLESTON–Authorities in South Carolina have released dash cam video in connection with the fatal shooting of Walter Scott, but the footage does not show the actual shooting.

Video from the patrol car of North Charleston’s Michael Slager shows an initial traffic stop and early interactions between the officer and Scott. Slager approaches Scott’s vehicle. The two men speak and the officer asks for Scott’s license and registration. Slager then informs him that his brake light is out, and then returns to his patrol car.

Scott exits the vehicle, briefly, and Slager tells him to stay in the car and he gets back in. Scott then gets out of the car, again, and runs away, out of the area the camera could see.

The video, which was released Thursday, also shows a passenger in Scott’s car.

The passenger’s identity hasn’t been released, but another officer responding to the incident said in the report that the passenger was detained and placed in the back seat of a police vehicle.

‘Shots fired and the subject is down’

Many questions remain about what happened on Saturday when Officer Slager pulled Scott over for what police have said was a broken taillight.

In the police report that CNN obtained, a responding officer said that Slager said that at one point he started to chase Scott down a street. “Shots fired and the subject is down,” the officer writes that Slager said. “He took my Taser.”

But a witness who shot cell phone video of the incident says he never saw Scott try to get Slager’s Taser.

Feidin Santana was walking to work when he saw Slager and Scott struggle on the ground, he told NBC’s Lester Holt on Wednesday. Santana then took out his phone and started recording video.

“I remember the police (officer) had control of the situation. He had control of Scott,” Santana said. Then, Santana said, he heard the sound of a Taser.

It seemed to Santana that Scott was trying to get away and avoid being Tasered more.

Feidin showed the video to the Scott family. But Santana has said fear for his own life almost kept him from revealing the tape.

In interviews with MSNBC and NBC, Santana recalled the moments when he recorded the video. “I … thought about erasing the video,” Santana told MSNBC’s “All in With Chris Hayes” in an interview that aired Wednesday evening. “I felt that my life, with this information, might be in danger.”

The video shows Slager shooting eight times at Scott as Scott runs away.

An autopsy of Scott showed that he “sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the back of his body,” and his death was the result of a homicide, the Charleston County Coroner’s Office said.

Before the officer starts firing his gun in the video, a dark object falls behind him and hits the ground. It’s not clear whether that is the Taser.

Later in the video, when the officer approaches Scott’s body, he drops a dark object next to the man. It’s also not clear whether that is the Taser.

It’s unknown whether Scott took the officer’s Taser or whether the officer picked the object up and moved it closer to the body.

Slager has been fired and charged with murder. He is white. Scott, who was unarmed, was black. It’s unclear what Slager’s motivation was, or if race played a part in Scott’s slaying.

“We can’t get into the brain of another individual, so we can’t state that,” Scott family attorney Chris Stewart said. “I think it would be irresponsible to say that and try and inflame a community or anything of that nature.”

If convicted, Slager could face life in prison or the death penalty.

Mayor Keith Summey said that the city has ordered an additional 150 body cameras “so every officer on the street” in the city will have one. That is in addition to 101 body cameras already ordered, he said.