2 rather important murder trials are now under way, both involve race, and with both, the outcomes are fairly certain. Dylan Roof gunning down 9 church goers, and Michael Slager, a Charleston police officer who shot a fleeing man in the back 8 times, both shooters are white and all victims are black.
The easy one first. Dylan seems like a troubled youth with a bucket load of mental problems, but the judge not only found him competent to stand trial but allowed Dylan to represent himself during the trial. What bothers me is that Dylan offered to plead guilty to murder and accept life without the possibility of parole in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table. A reasonable offer and one that the prosecution should have embraced. But here’s the rub, with white shooter/black victims, the racial component must take center stage, so countless millions (the cost from trial, through appeals, up to the actual injection, if it ever happens)will be wasted for what will be little more than a show trial. Getting back to my disgust for the very concept of hate crimes, where one person’s hide is more valuable and must exact a higher price than anothers, a sentence consistent with justice must now jump over another hurdle, artificially placed based on nothing more than the color of skin. If roles were reversed any prosecutor worth dick would take the life deal in a second, then go out for pizza.
Now on to Slager. There is both dash cam footage and private party cell phone video of the actual shooting. First off, why do rookie cops (5 years on the job, he should have known better) feel compelled to give foot chase on something as low level as a fix ticket infraction? We aren’t talking about a mass murder fleeing the scene who will most likely continue his killing ways, or even a bank robber fleeing with a sack full money, Slager knew who this guy was, he had his ID, knew he was unarmed, knew he had done nothing except drive with a busted taillight, knew he would pose no danger to any passerby’s, yet, he still felt it necessary to give chase on foot, lamebrain. A better course of action, impound the car (while inventorying the contents for any illegal contraband), then send him his ticket in the mail and go get them donuts while they are hot.
As far as the charge, yes, Slager needs to do prison time. There is no excuse, none, zilch, nada for shooting anybody in the back. Slager testified that he was afraid of Scott, how so? Scott was running away from him, had nothing in his hands, no history of violence against cops, no justification whatsoever existed for the application of lethal force. There probably was a scuffle (another reason you don’t foot pursue unless you absolutely have to) but the scuffle was over, Slager was in no danger and what we see is Scott retreating. I’m OK with manslaughter as long as he gets a serious sentence. Oh, and 8 shots? no marksmanship badge for you.