Dozens of people Thursday visited the site in North Charleston, South Carolina, where an unarmed black man was gunned down last weekend by a white police officer. Several passersby stopped to place flowers beside a memorial that included a white cross, stuffed animals and notes, the Associated Press reports.
Some of the visitors who came to pay respects knew Walter Scott, who was shot in the back by now-fired police officer Michael Slager on Saturday after being pulled over for a traffic violation. Others did not know Scott personally but knew about the shooting after a video of the incident emerged and gained nationwide attention. "I've worked in North Charleston for many years and I'm troubled by the whole thing,” Charleston resident Jeffrey Spell told the AP. “I thought it would be respectable.”
Scott, 50, was pulled over by Slager around 9:30 a.m. on April 4 as part of a routine traffic stop for a busted taillight. A confrontation ensued that led to Slager reportedly using his Taser against Scott. Scott tried to flee but was shot several times in the back after Slager drew and fired his weapon. Scott fell face-first to the ground, where he lay motionless. Slager handcuffed Scott and radioed the dispatcher, saying Scott had tried to take his Taser.
The shooting was caught on video by Feidin Santana, who witnessed the incident and told a different account of the encounter. Santana was initially hesitant to come forward with the footage. However, he later handed the video over to Scott’s family, who sent it to the New York Times. The graphic video, which appeared to show the police officer placing the Taser next to Scott’s body, led to Slager's being arrested and charged with murder.
“All we wanted was the truth, and through the process we’ve received the truth,” Anthony Scott, Walter’s brother, told reporters. “I don’t think that all police officers are bad cops, but there are some bad ones out there.”