Michael Slager, the white former cop who shot and killed Walter Scott in Charleston, S.C., in April 2015, took the stand in his own defense Tuesday, Nov. 29, in his murder trial. Slager, who faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted, teared up several times during his testimony.
As expected, Twitter reacted with skepticism.
As Atlanta Black Star has reported, Slager was caught on video aiming his gun at Scott as the unarmed Black man ran away. After Scott, 50, fell to the ground and died, Slager is seen placing his taser next to Scott’s body. The action contradicted Slager’s police report, which stated that the cop had performed CPR on the victim.
That was only one of the things Slager testified about in court Tuesday. According to ABC 4 News, the 33-year-old described the situation as “a nightmare” to defense attorneys.
Slager stated he initially pulled Scott over for a broken taillight and blamed the deceased father of four for escalating the situation. Slager testified that he fired his stun gun at Scott three times but that it was ineffective.
However, the former officer claimed he could not remember all the details of the incident. “My mind was spaghetti,” he said.
But he testified that he did recall Scott seizing the taser. “I saw that taser coming at me,” he said, fighting back tears. “And I knew I was in trouble. I knew I was overpowered.”
That’s when a chase ensued and Slager ultimately shot Scott several times in his back. Slager defended the action as something “police officers do” in training.
When questioned about why he planted the taser next to Scott’s dead body, Slager replied, “I don’t know why I dropped it on the ground. … I can’t even answer to that.”
Slager was ultimately fired from the police force, charged with murder and jailed as he awaited trial. As a result, he missed the birth of his son, something that also caused him to cry on the stand.
“I can’t sleep,” he said of his feelings after the April 4, 2015, shooting. “Nightmares. When I was in jail, the only thing they wanted to do was give me medicine.”
In reaction to the testimony, many on Twitter were not sympathetic.
Foz Island cut straight to the point in response to Slager’s testimony.
The fact that you walk around with a gun, a badge, and an irrational fear of black people does not give you a license to kill them. #Slager
— Foz Island (@fozisland) November 29, 2016
MelloJa used a GIF to respond to a doctor testifying about Slager’s faulty memory.
— Mel (@Kadyb_) November 29, 2016
Kris Young noted that the fact that Scott was running away from Slager removed him as a threat to the then-officer.
On Scott’s state of mind after the shooting, Smileydevil had this humorous reaction.
— Keep your ass in the house! (@smileydevil) November 29, 2016
Then, Jay reacted enthusiastically to Slager being unable to answer why he dropped his taser next to Scott’s body.
Oh! 🙋 I KNOW… I KNOW…
— 🎺JA¥🎶 (@SweetJay_69) November 29, 2016