Public Comment

Police Misconduct

Jagjit Singh
Saturday April 11, 2015 - 03:24:00 PM

What has become an all too familiar scene, another defenseless African-American, is gunned down by a white police officer. Without ordering an investigation, the North Charleston Police Department rushed to defend officer Michael Slager. But a video captured by a bystander showed Slager shot the victim, Walter Scott, in the back and casually walked over, handcuffed the dying man and then placed a taser next to his body in a botched effort to blame the victim. 

Scott’s killing echoes other videos of police shootings, such as Tamir Rice in Cleveland and Eric Garner in New York City. Rice, a 12 year old boy, was shot by a policemen two seconds after he got out of his car and then allowed to die without any intervention by the police. When Tamir’s 14 year old sister tried to intervene and save her brother she was arrested. 

While the actions of the man who filmed the fatal shooting of Walter Scott, is rightly lauded as a hero, the man who shot the video of the police killing of Eric Garner, Ramsey Orta, is languishing in jail. His mother, brother, and wife have also been arrested. Supporters have accused the New York City Police department of pure harassment – punishment for releasing the video. Bystanders should be rewarded for exposing police misconduct not punished. There is a deep racial malaise gripping the nation’s police departments and unless swift action is taken we can only expect more of the same.