Police in the US state of South Carolina charged an officer Tuesday with murder after video showed him apparently gunning down a fleeing black man.
Police in the US state of South Carolina charged an officer Tuesday with murder after video showed him apparently gunning down a fleeing black man, a rare arrest in a string of shootings of unarmed black men that have raised allegations of police racism.
South Carolina state police arrested officer Michael Slager, 33, and charged him with murder, a felony that carries a sentence of up to life in prison or the death penalty, according to official documents.
"The Defendant (Slager) did shoot the victim multiple times in the back after an altercation. All this is based upon video evidence and the investigation of the State Law Enforcement Division," reads a South Carolina court document.
A number of killings of unarmed black men by police officers in recent months have sparked protests across the United States with protesters alleging racism in the nation's police and raising accusations that officers use excessive force.
Officers have rarely been charged in the shootings, even when the incidents were recorded.
Slager's arrest comes after video surfaced of the shooting that killed 50-year-old Walter Scott Saturday in the coastal city of North Charleston.
The video seems to show Slager in an altercation with Scott and then drawing his gun and shooting seven or eight shots in Scott's back as Scott fled.
The officer approaches Scott, who is on the ground, telling him to put his hands behind his back, and Slager puts him in handcuffs, the video shows.
Slager then appears to get a device that had fallen during the altercation and drop it by Scott's body.
The video was first released by The New York Times after being given to the newspaper by the Scott family's lawyer.
Slager was charged with murder in a South Carolina court before being booked into a nearby jail.