Urban League’s Morial: Repulsed by Officer’s Heinous Act

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Urban League’s Morial: Repulsed by Officer’s Heinous Act; Encouraged by North Charleston Authorities’ Swift and Decisive Action

April 8, 2015 (New York) — National Urban League President and Chief Executive Officer Marc H. Morial today issued the following statement in response to the killing of Walter Scott and the arrest of Officer Michael T. Slater in North Charleston, South Carolina:

The killing of yet another unarmed black man by a police officer demonstrate how far this nation has to go in coming to terms with its racial division.

The swift action of North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey and South Carolina prosecutors demonstrate that at least some progress is being made.

The name of 50-year-old Coast Guard veteran Walter Scott tragically was added to the too-long-and-growing list of unarmed black men and children gunned down in hard-to-understand circumstances: Trayvon Martin. Michael Brown. Eric Garner.  John Crawford III. Tamir Rice.

What sets Walter Scott’s killing apart from these others is that the officer who shot him, Michael T. Slager, immediately was charged with murder.  For this we have to thank a bystander who surreptitiously recorded the shooting on a cellphone.

Of particular concern is what appears to be Officer Slager dropping an object near Walter Scott’s body after the shooting. Officer Slager had claimed that Mr. Scott had grabbed the officer’s stun gun before fleeing. And rather than offer emergency aid, Officer Slager handcuffed the motionless Mr. Scott’s hands behind his back.

We place our trust in Mayor Summey and the prosecutors to investigate Officer Slager’s actions thoroughly and honestly. We extend our thoughts and prayers to Mr. Scott’s family and work for an end to the senseless violence that claimed his life.

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