(NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.) — The man who recorded the video of the fatal shooting of Walter Scott by a police officer in South Carolina said that he saw the officer drop something by Scott’s body.
In spite of Scott’s relative’s claims that Officer Michael Slager dropped a Taser by Scott’s motionless body moments after their encounter on Saturday, witness Feidin Santana told ABC News that he cannot be certain what it was.
“I saw that he dropped something,” Santana said of Slager. “He picked it up and he put it back down.”
Santana, who was on his way to work at a barber shop in North Charleston, South Carolina, on the morning of the shooting, said that he heard the “electrocuting” sound of the Taser before he started recording on his phone.
“The cop was, like I said, in a position to get on top of him [Scott] but I don’t know if he tackled him or if he fell,” Santana said.
“The only thing I can know is he was trying to get away,” he said.
Santana said that officers, including Slager, saw Santana on the scene after the fact but he fled.
“I knew it was dangerous just being there and I was the only witness,” Santana said.
Slager has been fired from the police force and has been arrested on a charge of murder, though he has not yet entered a plea.
Santana has not yet been interviewed by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, which is handling the investigation, though they have been in contact with his attorney, he said.
Santana said he didn’t feel unsafe while the shooting was happening but he started to worry for his safety once he realized what he had on his phone. He told ABC News that he doesn’t think his life will ever be the same and has concerns about the way the local police will treat him in the future.
For his part, Santana said that the relationship between the North Charleston police and the community wasn’t “bad but it can be better.”
“I’m not trying to say the police department was involved in hiding this, but if there’s no evidence you can say whatever you want,” he said, noting that he first started sharing screen grabs of the video via Facebook when he saw that the police report “was the opposite of what the video showed.”
Santana said he connected online with a local activist involved with the group Black Lives Matter who reached out to Scott’s family and the Scotts connected with Santana.
“I don’t feel happy about what is going to happen to the officer but I do feel good that there will be justice,” Santana said.
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