NAACP Statement on the Indictment of Former North Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager

BALTIMORE, Md. — On Monday, June 8th, a South Carolina grand jury indicted former North Charleston police officer, Michael Slager, for the April shooting death of Walter L. Scott. In light of this development, the NAACP has released the following statement.

From Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President and CEO:
“The grand jury’s decision to indict Michael Slager for the death of Walter Scott is illustrative of the type of action we need to see in cases where unarmed citizens are met with excessive and oftentimes fatal force. While this indictment is encouraging, it is only a first step in what will likely be a long judicial process. The NAACP will be closely monitoring the proceedings as we continue to seek justice for Walter Scott and his family. Mr. Scott’s death is a heartbreaking symptom of the untested and overaggressive policing culture that has become commonplace in communities of color across this nation. Whether the force occurs at a pool party in McKinney, Texas or during the routine arrest of an unarmed man in Baltimore, Maryland, the indefensible fear of black and brown bodies and the abuse of power by those unlawful few in blue uniforms and gold badges have produced heartbreaking results.  The NAACP will not stand down until accountability and justice in cases of police misconduct are served for Mr. Scott and the countless other men and women who have been the victims of racial profiling and excessive.”

From Dr. Lonnie Randolph, NAACP South Carolina State Conference President:
“While we cannot celebrate any indictment, we do recognize this development as an important and necessary second step in the process.  The third and most challenging and unpredictable component will be reached when the defendant faces a jury of his peers. The South Carolina State Conference will continue pushing for statewide legislation mandating police reforms that address the actions and attitudes of law enforcement personnel, including body worn cameras for all police. While the video of former police officer Michael Slager firing his gun eight times at 50-year-old Walter Scott has been brandished into our collective conscious, the announcement of this indictment reminds us all that the judicial process is not stagnant. We will be monitoring this case closely to ensure that justice is served for not only Mr. Scott and his family, but for all citizens in South Carolina who could potentially be harmed by out of control law enforcement officers.”

Photo: Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President and CEO