After NBC News identified Feidin Santana Wednesday night as the eyewitness who recorded the fatal shooting of Walter Scott, Twitter exploded with compliments and concern. While some users praised Santana for releasing the video, others posted messages calling for his protection. They feared retribution from people angered by his recording.
Feidin Santana was brave to shoot it & come forward - but even more so saying he's scared & still doing an interview without face blurred
— Ramss (@bananarams) April 9, 2015
— McBlondeLand (@McBlondeLand) April 8, 2015
Praying for Feidin Santana's safety. ______
— T.i (@tiersj) April 8, 2015
Santana is credited with changing the narrative around Scott's Saturday death. Officer Michael Slager said he opened fire on the unarmed black man in self-defense. After the release of Santana's video showing Scott being shot repeatedly as he runs away, Slager was charged with murder and fired from the police force.
Santana said he was walking to work when he saw the men struggling. He hit record after they got up from the ground. Later he gave the video to the family and media. “When I turned it in, I thought about their situation and said if I were to have a family member where that happened I would like to know the truth," Santana told NBC.
Scott family lawyer L. Chris Stewart said at a news conference that Santana's actions “should be respected throughout this country," according to the Guardian. "We have to really recognize the strength and fortitude and fearlessness that it took to come forward when you know you just filmed a police officer murder somebody," Stewart said.
Many Twitter users agreed.
— Mayra Souffront (@WENCFO) April 8, 2015
Thank you.... You are an outstanding and brave young man #FeidinSantana
— Judith@Doppelganger (@GWGMJ30) April 8, 2015
Santana said the officer made a bad decision in shooting Scott. "Mr. Scott didn’t deserve this, and there were other ways that can be used to get him arrested, and that wasn’t the proper way to do that," he said.
I hope the person who filmed Walter Scott's murder is safe because they jailed the man who filmed Eric Garners murder
— Warrior Woman (@ShakiraSays) April 8, 2015
— Only Human (@leahmcelrath) April 8, 2015
I'm scared for Feidin Santana :( there are so many racists out there who would give up their lives to uphold white supremacy
— no (@gk_7x) April 8, 2015