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Family of black man killed by white US officer calls for accountability

10 April 2015 7:46


The family of an African American man who was shot dead by a white police officer South Carolina last week has called for accountability of police forces.

A bystander recorded video of North Charleston Officer Michael Slager,33, firing multiple shots at 50-year-old Walter Scott as the victim was running away on Saturday.

The shooting death sparked protests and intense discussions over US race relations because Scott was unarmed when he was mowed down by the officer.

Walter’s brother, Anthony Scott, called for changes in police after the fatal shooting.

“There has to be accountability for officers, and they have to think twice about firing their firearms and shooting down people,” he told AFP.

“They have to think about those things before taking the life of someone senselessly, senselessly gunning down a person,” he added.

The three-minute footage shows Scott running away as the officer pulls his gun and fires eight shots, five of which hit him. Scott fell down to the ground after the last shot was fired. The officer is shown walking over calmly and handcuffing Scott’s arms behind his back.

Footage shows police officer Michael Slager firing eight times at unarmed African American Walter Scott as he is running away.

“It looked like he was trying to kill a deer or something, running through the woods,” said Scott’s father, Walter Scott Sr.

The fatal shooting comes at a time that US police are under harsh criticism for using brutal tactics against people of color and minorities.

The killing of several unarmed black men by white police officers in recent months and decisions by grand juries not to indict the officers triggered large-scale protests across the United States.

There is also widespread racial disparity in the US criminal justice system. According to a study by the Sentencing Project research group, one in three black males are likely to be sentenced to prison sometime during their life. The figure for white men is one in 17.

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