Transcript for South Carolina Police Officer Charged With Murder
chilling video obtain bid ABC news early today. It shows a South Carolina police officer opening fire on a man running away. It started with a routine traffic stop and it's difficult to watch. You can see the officer right there, he draws his gun and begins firing. The man running, struck several times. He does not survive. Our team taking that video to the police department today, where they learned authorities were interviewing the officer. And tonight, just a short time ago, the police chief and the mayor revealing that officer will be charged with murder. ABC's Steve osunsami is in south Carolina, and we warn you, the video is disturbing. Black male, green shirt, blue pants. All units north in emergency status, chasing on foot. Reporter: This video obtained by ABC news is chilling. And tonight, even city authorities are stunned. Listen for the moment when north Charleston patrolman Michael Slager shoots and kills 50-year-old Walter Scott. In the video, Scott is clearly running away from the officer, with his back turned. Gunshot wound to the left side, to the back, one left side to the buttock, unresponsive. Reporter: The confrontation started after the officer pulled him over for a broken tail light. Police say the victim fled down the street, and into this field behind a pawnshop, where officer Slager fired eight times. Scott's family tonight, heartbroken, and pleading that this black life should matter. He needs to know that that wasn't an animal that he killed. He was my son. Reporter: Late today, with this new video in their hands, police responded, charging the officer. I can tell you that as the result of that video and the bad decision made by our officer, he will be charged with murder. Reporter: If convicted, Slager could be sentenced to the death penalty. Police say the arguing began when Slager discovered Scott had an outstanding warrant for child support issues. In the police report, and over the radio, Slager says Scott took his taser and that he was worried for his safety. Dispatch, shots fired. Subject is down. He grabbed my taser. Reporter: But in the video, it's not clear if Scott took the stun gun or if he was running after being hit by it with the cords still attached. Officer Slager is later seen handing over his weapon to another officer at the scene, standard procedure after a shooting. Police, who seemed emotional tonight, say this one officer doesn't represent them all. I think that all of these police officers on this force, men and women, are like my children. So, you tell me how a father would react to seeing a child do something. Reporter: In a world where there's a camera in every pocket, we asked authorities here whether this officer would have been arrested if they'd never seen the video. And they told us that the video shared the true story. David? Steve osunsami leading us off tonight. Steve, thank you.
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