Funeral set for black SC driver fatally shot

Published 3:42 pm Saturday, April 11, 2015

SUMMERVILLE, N.C. — Mourners are expected to gather Saturday in Summerville, South Carolina to remember Walter Scott, the 50-year-old black driver who was fatally shot by a white police officer after fleeing a traffic stop in North Charleston.

A steady stream of people gathered Friday afternoon at a wake to pay their respects to Scott, whose open casket was draped in an American flag and adorned with a Dallas Cowboys sign and a miniature figure of a player. A heart-shaped flower arrangement to the left of his casket during the wake read “Beloved Father” and a ribbon on the right read “St. Andrews Parish High School Class of 1984.” Some visitors talked about how well-preserved Scott appeared to be as they walked away from the casket, others expressed how bewildered they were with the circumstances that led to him lying there.

Scott was stopped on April 4 for driving with a broken tail light and eventually ran from the officer. Scott was driving a 1991 Mercedes that he bought from a neighbor and was headed to an auto parts store that morning, his brother Rodney Scott said.

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Police and an attorney for former officer Michael Slager said Scott was fatally shot during a tussle over Slager’s gun. Slager was fired and charged with murder after video recorded by a witness surfaced and showed the officer firing eight shots at Scott as he tried running away. Video from the police car’s dashboard camera shows Slager asking Scott for his license and registration, then heading back to his cruiser before Scott gets out of the car and runs.

The case prompted outrage across the country as the latest instance of an unarmed black man being killed by a white officer.