Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera on Friday morning said that new dashcam footage that shows Walter Scott running away from his car at a traffic stop should clear South Carolina police officer Michael Thomas Slager of the murder charge.
“I’m extremely glad that they released the dash cam video because it gives context to the event. However horrific and tragic and outrageous the shooting in the back is, it shows that it started as a righteous traffic stop,” Rivera said on “Fox and Friends.”
Rivera said that Scott “was acting very hinky, very edgy” and that he allegedly struggled with Slager after the officer used his stun gun.
“So, up until that point the cop, with his adrenaline pumping, now he’s been in a physical tussle, now the perpetrator has reached for the taser, allegedly. Now it gives you the context of his blood boiling,” Rivera said. “He has done everything professional and now … this civilian has dared to physically have this altercation with the officer.”
“Put that in the officer’s head now. I think it saves him from the murder rap,” Rivera said.
“Even though you see him shooting him in the back dead?” “Fox and Friends” co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck jumped in to ask.
“That’s an excellent point,” Rivera responded. “This is a horrible, horrible shooting. But there was no premeditation. This is manslaughter.”
Rivera added that a “physical altercation” does not give a police officer the “justification to aim and to calmly plug someone.”
Later, Rivera said that we must judge an officer “in his shoes” because “it’s an intense experience.”
North Charleston, S.C., police officer Michael Thomas Slager was charged with murder on Tuesday after a video showed him shooting unarmed black man Walter Scott in the back as he ran away. Slager alleged that he felt threatened by Scott and that Scott tried to take his stun gun, according to police.
Dashcam footage released on Thursday shows Scott leaving his car and running away during a traffic stop by Slager.
Watch the “Fox and Friends” clip: