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Re: Ex-SC Police Officer Sentenced to TWENTY Years

Message 11 of 12

Slager and Habersham - ther very worst kind of bad cops - have stained, degraded, and demeaned  the reputations of honest cops everywhere.


It's a shame that the corrupt and dishonest "thin blue line" - the law enforcement version of "Omerta" - acted to threaten and prevent honest cops from speaking out...



Have pity for Melania - she hasn't yet got rid of that ugly fat.
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Treasured Social Butterfly

Ex-SC Police Officer Sentenced to TWENTY Years

Message 12 of 12

Former South Carolina police officer who shot Walter Scott sentenced to 20 years


The former South Carolina police officer who shot and killed Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, following a traffic stop was sentenced Thursday to 20 years behind bars in a federal case stemming from the fatal encounter.


Michael Slager, who had been an officer with the North Charleston police, was charged with murder in state court and indicted on federal civil rights chargesafter the shooting in 2015. His murder trial ended with a deadlocked jury last year, and prosecutors had vowed to retry Slager in state court.

But earlier this year, Slager pleaded guilty to a single federal civil rights charge as part of a plea deal that resolved both cases. A judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison, according to the Associated Press, which had a reporter at the sentencing.


Under the terms of the plea agreement announced in May, Slager pleaded guilty to one count of violating Scott’s rights under color of law, and prosecutors said they would push for a judge to apply sentencing guidelines for second-degree murder and obstruction of justice. Slager could have faced a life sentence, but prosecutors also said as part of the plea deal that they would recommend that his sentence be reduced due to his “acceptance of responsibility.”


Scott’s death in April 2015 became among the most high-profile police shootings in recent years due to graphic video that later emerged. In the recording, which was captured by a bystander, the 50-year-old Scott was seen hurrying away as the officer fired a volley of rounds at the driver’s back.

The video quickly ricocheted around the Internet and on news stations, and Slager was arrested and fired from his police force.


Slager said he feared for his life during the encounter. In another video recording, this one taken by Slager’s dashboard camera as the traffic stop got underway, the two men could be seen interacting before Scott got out of his car and fled. Slager is then heard on a police radio reporting a description of Scott before yelling, “Taser, Taser, Taser!”


During the trial, Slager testified that he was scared and felt “total fear that Mr. Scott was coming toward me.” The former officer also said that he tried to subdue Scott and that the driver had grabbed his Taser during a struggle.


When asked by a prosecutor whether he agreed that Scott was unarmed and running away, Slager testified that he did not realize the Taser had fallen behind him when he fired the fatal shots.

Slager said that at the time, he did not think Slager was unarmed, but he realized it after watching the video. The bystander video also shows Slager placing an item — his Taser — near Scott’s body following the shooting.


much more and graphic video at:  Former South Carolina police officer who shot Walter Scott sentenced to 20 years


IMO, this is a very good outcome to a very tragic vent.  Was this a "good cop"?  I bet he was considered one prior to this event.  Would a "good cop" shoot a fleeing man in the back for expired tags? For resisting arrest?  Would a "good cop" pick-up the Taser he dropped and place it next to the dead man?  Of COURSE not?


But IMO, here's the kicker....


One other officers corroborated Officer Slagers story of the events and wrote police reports supporting Slagers story that they struggled over the Taser and Slager shot him during the struggle.


The police publicly announced after the shooting/murder:


A statement released by North Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor said a man ran on foot from the traffic stop and an officer deployed his department-issued Taser in an attempt to stop him.That did not work, police said, and an altercation ensued as the men struggled over the device. Police allege that during the struggle the man gained control of the Taser and attempted to use it against the officer.

The officer then resorted to his service weapon and shot him, police alleged.


And then what happened?  A video, taken by a bystander was released.  Whoopsy!  The cop who corroborated Slagers excuse for shooting a fleeing man in the back a filed a false police report was not fired, nor was he arrested.


In an interview with a black officer in North Charleston, he said:


"Some white officers, he said, feel that Slager should not be charged based on the publicly available evidence. “They still got that ‘we against them’ attitude,” in which police feel they are alone against an antagonistic public. “Making statements like that doesn’t help us in the healing process. Once you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” the officer said."


“One of the traits you look for in an officer, first thing, is integrity. You’d like to have his back and believe what he says through all,” the officer said. “And when stuff came out later and showed that he was dishonest, it kind of puts you back, especially with the relationship here in North Charleston we’re trying to build with the community, he’s putting us back.”


Sounds like a "good cop".....


The officer said that while he doesn’t know Slager personally, he had a reputation within the department for being aggressive with black residents.


“They say he was kind of a scared guy when it came to African-Americans,” the officer said. “He was a scared kind of guy who was always reaching for his weapon or something, wanted to be aggressive. That was the word about him from other officers.”


One black officer, Clarence Habersham, is at the center of the maelstrom over Scott’s killing and what many have described as an attempted cover-up.


Habersham arrived on the scene shortly after the shooting and is seen peering over Scott’s body. In the video, neither Habersham nor Slager appeared to attempt any life saving measures on Scott.


In the incident report filed after the shooting, Habersham was scant on details and never mentioned Slager picking up and then dropping an item next to Scott’s body.


The National Bar Association, a national group of black lawyers, has called for Habersham’s arrest and firing for filing a false police report.


“In his report, Officer Habersham does not describe Officer Slager’s actions, but said that he gave aid to Mr. Scott and tried to give directions to the scene,” the group said in a statement. “However, there is no evidence on the video that show Officer Harbersham, or anyone else, administered CPR to Mr. Scott.”




So, I ask those interested, is Harbersham a "good cop" or a "bad cop"?  He protected his own, another cop that is.




Skin color has never been a viable proxy when dealing with the issue of police conduct.  Even when they’re black, cops are still blue.  Yet, seeing Clarence Habersham stand over the fatally wounded Walter Scott, as North Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager casually drops the throwaway Taser by the body, demands an answer.


How could he stand there and do nothing?


Most of the time, the focus is on the baddest dude, the cop who pulled the trigger, or kicked the teeth, or swung the baton until the head erupted like a ripe melon.  And without question, any cop who breaks the law and harms a person deserves all the attention that can be rammed down his throat.


That said, it doesn’t happen without the complicity of those other cops standing around.  Clarence Habersham is such a cop.


Did he stop Michael Slager from killing Walter Scott?


Did he immediately provide aid to try and save Scott’s life?


Did he act when he saw Slager drop the throwaway Taser?


Did he tell the truth when time came to address what happened in front of him?


No, Clarence Habersham did none of those things.  He was blue, and that meant he would not breach the blue wall of silence, the loyalty of one cop to another to keep his secrets, even at the expense of a human being’s life.  No, Clarence Habersham did nothing to save a life or preserve the truth.


For that, he must be held accountable.


So often, we decry the police officer who engages in brutality, in unwarranted violence, with little expectation that it will produce more than a promise of an investigation, with a conclusion that would defy reason. By then, we’re usually past it, on to the next beating, the next death. The outcome rarely hits our radar.


Then there are times, as here, where an arrest is made, a murderer accused. Michael Slager sits in a cell for the killing of Walter Scott.  This frees us to focus on the cop who stood there, who watched, who did nothing to stop or save Walter Scott from death.


Habersham isn’t a virgin to excessive force complaints. He’s being sued, along with four other cops, by Sheldon Williams for breaking his face.  Whether it’s true or not will be the subject of trial, and not speculation here. But the suit might at minimum have sensitized Habersham to a responsibility to at least lift a finger, to provide some small amount of care to the man gunned down by Slager.


Indeed, his chief, before revelation of the video, believed that Habersham rendered aid to Scott, as he stated at the post-killing press conference.  Sadly, this turned out to be wrong.


No, Clarence Habersham wasn’t the shooter.  No, it was not his decision to take the life of Walter Scott.  But he also failed to prevent the crime, to render aid to the victim, to do anything to help a fellow human being. And then he failed to tell the truth about what happened before his eyes.


He should not be a cop. He cannot be trusted to be a cop, any more than any of the many other officers who have skulked silently into the darkness as we spent our time and energy trying to root out the cop with the gun or the bloody boot.


It’s foolish to expect that the blue wall will go away easily or any time soon.  But perhaps sending a message will help a little.  This is far too ingrained in police culture for one instance, or a hundred instances, to make a dent.


It remains critical that this complicity not be ignored or covered up.  Clarence Habersham must go.  Clarence Habersham must be prosecuted for his role in this tragedy.  Just because he didn’t pull the trigger does not absolve him from his complicity in this horrific crime.




IMO, what would have been "heroic" would have been for Officer Habersham to come forward and actually tell the truth, instead of filing a false police report.



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