reported by Moody Jim Rathbone
A black man (Walter Scott) was shot eight times in the back as he fled in fear from a white police officer (Michael Slager). He did so because he was afraid of being jailed by Bradley Amendment back child support. Video shows a North Charleston, South Carolina, officer apprehending Scott.
The Post and Courier newspaper of Charleston, claims that Mr. Walter Scott had been arrested 10 times for failing to pay Bradley Amendment mandated back child support. He had failed to show up for court hearings.
The family attorney said that the coroner had told him that Mr. Scott was struck a total of five times – three times in the back, once in the upper buttocks and once in the ear – with at least one bullet entering his heart. The story is that all this was the result of a traffic stop. In certain states, men are often taken to jail for nonpayment of child support following a traffic stop. Early news reports indicated that the police officer was in fear for his life. With his hands full of weapons and in pursuit of a fleeing man? Hardly. The video footage shows the reality behind the fatal bullying, as if the officer was doing little more than playing a video game.
Scott’s death on Saturday fueled national outrage as an example of continued unjustified killings, another black man vanquished at the hands of police. The killing also highlights the injustice in the child-support enforcement system, which often punishes non-custodial parents who can’t keep up with child support with jail time. This blight of law disproportionately affects African-American men, a debtor’s prison that puts people in jail for something they can’t pay, even when half of a paycheck is being garnished.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has begun an inquiry into the shooting. The F.B.I. and the Justice Department are also investigating the incident.
The child support system in the United States has new blood on its’ hands. Walter Scott was like any other normal American seeking a better life. He had a job and was engaged to be married, after a failed marriage and 4 children. It’s very likely that the ex-wife and government were harassing him in a very large way. Fear of the system was well engrained in him. If the ex-wife was behind the acceleration in harassment, the ex-wife also has his blood on her hands, and now, children that will be on the government dole. Congratulations to Mrs. Scott, his poor children and a hopelessly broken punitive system. My heart goes out to any man, regardless of circumstances, that might be caught in a similar unconstitutional dragnet in this nation’s police state.