What does it take to get a police officer punished for killing an unarmed black man?
Watch the video. Walter Scott, unarmed and slow of foot, tries to run away. Police officer Michael Slager calmly fires five rounds into Scott’s back. Later, Slager approaches Scott’s body, not to give first aid but apparently to plant evidence of a struggle that never took place.
Now tell me: How cheap is black life in these United States of America?
A jury in North Charleston, S.C., could not agree that Slager committed a crime, forcing the judge in the case to declare a mistrial. Prosecutors quickly announced they will try Slager again. In the optimistic view, this week’s stunning result, or non-result, means justice deferred rather than justice denied. I’m trying to be an optimist, but at the moment it’s not easy.
Tell me: What does it take to get a police officer punished for killing an unarmed black man in cold blood?
The whole thing is on video, people. A passerby named Feidin Santana used his mobile phone to capture Scott’s final minutes. An immigrant from the Dominican Republic, Santana gave lengthy testimony at Slager’s trial.