A white North Charleston, S.C., police officer has been was charged with murder after shooting and killing a black man after a traffic stop over the weekend, the Washington Post reports. The decision to charge Michael Slager, 33, came after graphic video footage showed Slager firing a volley of bullets into the back of Walter Scott, who was running away. Officers rarely face criminal charges after shooting people. This case took a swift turn after a bystander’s video provided authorities with a decisive narrative that differed from Slager's account.
“It wasn't just based on the officer’s word anymore,” said Chris Stewart, an attorney for Scott's family. “People were believing this story.” Mayor R. Keith Summey said, “When you're wrong, you're wrong. If you make a bad decision, don't care if you're behind the shield…you have to live with that decision.” The FBI and U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division also will investigate the case. “Video has changed everything because it provides documentation that was never available before,” said criminologist Philip Stinson of Bowling Green State University. “Now, everyday citizens, when they recognize there is a dispute, they start recording video with their smart phones.”