The 23-year-old who filmed the death of Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina, met the Scott family on Thursday, who thanked him for taking the only video showing North Charleston police officer Michael Slager fatally shooting Scott as he ran from the officer following a routine traffic stop. Scott family members praised Feiden Santana for having the courage to film the encounter and for providing what is expected to be the primary piece of evidence in Slager’s upcoming murder trial.
Slager, 33, claimed that Scott had reached for his Taser just prior to the shooting and that he felt his life was threatened, which was not depicted in Santana’s video. Santana initially kept quiet about the video he shot, but he approached Anthony Scott during a family vigil at the site of Walter Scott’s death a day after the April 4 incident and told him, “I have something to share with you,” according to the New York Times.
The two watched the video, which Santana said he was fearful of making public, and the two agreed to see how the North Charleston Police Department handled the shooting. If police admitted wrongdoing, then they would keep the video between them, but would release it if they felt police were not being truthful.
The next day Santana gave the video over to the Scott family lawyer, because the NCPD position hadn’t changed. The NCPD saw the video on Tuesday and immediately fired Slager, charged him with murder and turned the investigation over to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. A dash camera video shot from inside Slager’s police cruiser shows what happened just before the shooting. Scott flees during the traffic stop and there appears to be an off-camera scuffle. Santana said that just prior to shooting the videa, he saw the two on the ground struggling. His video shows them standing and appears to show Slager trying to handcuff Scott, who flees a second time and is shot in the back.