Officer charged with murder after video shows him shooting black man in back; mayor, family react

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- A white police officer in North Charleston, S.C., was charged with murder Tuesday after a video showed him shooting and killing an apparently unarmed black man in the back while he ran away, The New York Times reported.

The police officer, Michael Slager, 33, said he feared for his life because the man took his stun gun after a traffic stop on Saturday. A video sent to the New York Times and taken by a third party shows the officer firing eight times as the man ran away.

The man died at the scene.

The mayor of North Charleston announced the murder charges against Slager at a news conference Tuesday night.

Editor's note: The video is graphic. Viewer discretion advised. 

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The Times said the shooting took place after Slager stopped a Mercedes-Benz with a broken taillight. Police reports said the driver,  Walter Scott, 50, ran away, and Slager chased him. He fired his Taser, but it did not stop Scott, according to police reports.

Moments later, according to the Times, Slager reported on his radio, “Shots fired and the subject is down. He took my Taser,” according to police reports.

But the video, which was taken by a bystander and provided to The New York Times by Mr. Scott’s lawyer, presents a different account.