The sceptre of police gunning down unarmed blacks continues to haunt that community in the United States of America.
More often than not, the offending official goes scot free, and the unfortunate family of the deceased are left with squat. Protesting never seems to get anywhere either.
Though in this case, at least; the offending official is still in court. Walter Scott was shot after he fled from the officer after a traffic stop. He feared being arrested for unpaid child support, but the officer shot him several times in the back whilst fleeing; and then, tried to set up the scene like there was a struggle between the two of them.
The only reason there was ever any questions asked was because a bystander was shooting the entire scene, otherwise who knows what yarn might have been spun out of that.
The family of Walter Scott reached an agreement with the city of North Charleston, South Carolina, over his death. The city has agreed to pay $6.5m to his family, with the sum getting approval from the City council on Thursday night.
Scott has four children, who would benefit from the settlement. The family has also decided to donate part of the money to Red Cross disaster relief efforts in the city, reports CNN.
“The city of Charleston’s actions have ensured that Walter did not die in vain,” Walter Scott’s brother, Anthony, said.
“The city sent a message, loud and clear, that this type of reckless behavior will not be tolerated.”
“I’m glad the city and the family were able to reach a settlement without the necessity of a lawsuit,” Mayor Keith Summey told reporters after the meeting.
Another official noted this was the largest settlement in the city’s history.
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The officer involved, Michael Slager, is on trial for murder. He was denied bail last month, with State Circuit Judge Clifton Newman writing that his possible release “would constitute an unreasonable danger to the community.”
The Slager family is one of the few lucky ones. Most of the other victims of police brutality never get the time of day from officials, and sometimes are even persecuted for their bravery in speaking out. It’s a sickening culture that’s going nowhere if the admission is not made that there’s an inherent bias fixed into the system.
According to the BBC, the families of Eric Garner and Freddie Gray have received settlements this year; juxtapose that with the number of times you have heard of cases of this sort.
Some have noted that with the city bearing the cost, it’s not really much of a disincentive to police. Maybe they should bear some of the cost.
Either way, it’s not the ideal that people should be dying needlessly for money to be thrown around. The ideal is that no one dies in the first place.