Home / National News / Walter Scott Shooting Draws New Scrutiny to Officer's Record


(NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.) — Authorities say they are re-examining past cases and arrests involving North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager in the wake of the shooting death of an unarmed man.

Slager, 33, has been accused of murder in the shooting death of driver Walter Scott, a Saturday confrontation that was captured in a bystander’s cellphone footage.

Slager previously was the subject of two citizen complaints, including a September 2013 complaint alleging he used a stun gun on someone “for no reason” during a burglary investigation, according to city records released by authorities.

Slager was exonerated after a subsequent probe, according to the records.

A second complaint filed in January alleged that Slager failed to file a police report after responding to neighborhood disturbance, a complaint the department said it “sustained,” though it was unclear whether he faced disciplinary action in the matter.

Slager’s neighbor Kerbin Delcid described him as a family man who had ambitions of serving in a federal law enforcement capacity. Delcid said Slager’s family — including his wife, who is pregnant, and two stepchildren — were quiet and unassuming, often seen walking their dogs together.

“I was just surprised [by the shooting], you know, because he didn’t seem like that type of guy,” Delcid said.

Slager has been dismissed from the police department, but the city will continue to provide his wife health insurance until their baby is born. She is eight months pregnant, according to Mayor Keith Summey.

“We think that is the humane thing for us to do, and we’re going to do that,” Summey said.

Slager spent six years in the U.S. Coast Guard and also served as a waiter at a New Jersey restaurant before becoming a police officer, according to personnel files released by authorities.

Slager lives about a mile from the empty lot where the shooting happened.

Dramatic cellphone video of the deadly encounter, captured by bystander Feidin Santana, was a determining factor in the decision to fire Slager and charge him with murder, authorities said. The video, shot from a distance, shows the moment Slager began shooting at Scott and the immediate aftermath as others arrived on the scene.

Slager was arrested Tuesday and though he appeared at a bond hearing that evening, he has yet to enter a plea.

Over the weekend, Slager was represented by attorney David Aylor, who said in a statement released at the time that Slager “followed all the proper procedures and policies.” That attorney told ABC News Tuesday he is no longer representing Slager. It’s unclear whether he has a new attorney.

Scott, 50, had four children.

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