Speed Reads

Law And Order

South Carolina police officer charged with murder of man after a traffic stop

A white police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, is being charged with murder after shooting and killing a black man who was reportedly unarmed, the city's mayor announced Tuesday.

Police reports say that on Saturday, Officer Michael T. Slager pulled over Walter L. Scott, 50, in a Mercedes-Benz with a broken taillight. A chase ensued, and Slager used a Taser against Scott, who did not stop. Slager said he feared for his life and shot Scott eight times. A bystander caught the incident on film moments after the Taser was fired, and Scott's attorney shared the footage with The New York Times. The video appears to show the wires from the stun gun attached to Scott, and then something — possibly the stun gun — is tossed or knocked to the ground behind Slager and Scott, the Times reports. Slager then draws his gun and opens fire once Scott is about 15 to 20 feet away, and he falls down after the last shot.

North Charleston is the third largest city in the state, with a population of 100,000. African-Americans make up 47 percent of the population and whites 37 percent, with the police department about 80 percent white. The shooting is being investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.