In a Wednesday interview with Good Morning America, the brother of a Black South Carolina man who was fatally shot by a White North Charleston police officer said that while the murder charge against the cop is a “positive development,” the family is still apprehensive.
“It is unusual right now, but I feel like we have a little bit more of the process to do,”Anthony Scott told GMA. “A charge is not being convicted. Once a conviction is put in place, I’ll feel a whole lot better.”
His brother, 50-year-old Walter Scott, was shot at several times by Michael T. Slager, a five-year police department veteran on Saturday. Disturbing video of the shooting, released by the New York Times with permission from the Scott family, shows Slager firing eight bullets at the unarmed man as he ran away from the officer. On Tuesday, Slager was charged with murder. The shooting comes on the heels of high-profile and racially charged incidents involving unarmed Black people and White police officers, including the deaths of Michael Brown Jr., Eric Garner, Tanisha Anderson, and Tamir Rice.
Scott’s mother also appeared on the morning show, saying her faith has sustained her during her time of mourning. She also said she feels sad for Slager, who will have to answer for his wrongdoings.
“When I looked at that tape, that was the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen. I am very, very upset concerning it. I almost couldn’t look at it. To see my son running, defenselessly being shot, it just tore my heart to pieces,” Judy Scott said.
“I feel sad for the officer who did the shooting, because he’s gonna have to give account for that. And I pray that he would repent to the Lord for what has happened, and we cannot move and act so quickly, we have to think before we take action and remember that we all have … that’s my son. And I’ve lost a son that will never come back. We have his memories, but he will never come back. And I pray that this never happens to anybody else,” she said.
Slager was denied bond by a magistrate judge Tuesday. He is eligible for the death penalty.
During a Tuesday press conference, attorney Chris Stewart said the family is planning to file a civil suit against North Charleston. Refusing to deem the shooting racially motivated, he did point out that Slager shot Scott in the back as many times as he could, ABC notes.
Stewart also did not mention the possibility that Slager planted his Taser at the scene. In the disturbing video of Scott’s shooting, it appears that an object falls to the ground while Scott is running away. Later, Slager picks up the object, dropping it by Scott’s lifeless body.
In a statement released by his then-attorney, Slager said he feared for his life after Scott grabbed his Taser. Stewart says the video challenges that claim.
It would have just been the standard story of a police officer giving his version and that would be the end of it. In this case, this officer gave his story, and it turned out not to be true.
Scott is survived by his four children. You can watch the family’s press conference in the video below: