Dashcam footage of the moments that led to a Chicago teen being shot 16 times last year during an encounter with police came as a “terribly disturbing” reminder of similar events in North Charleston, an attorney for the Walter Scott family said Tuesday.
“The family of Walter Scott knows all too well the pain caused by instances of officer misconduct such as these,” attorney Justin Bamberg said in a statement. “Seeing this video is a reminder to the Scott family of what occurred to their loved one, particularly as they patiently await the criminal trial of former officer Michael Slager.”
Bamberg’s statements came shortly after video of the October 2014 shooting death of Laquan McDonald, 17, was made public. Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder hours before the video’s release Tuesday.
Bamberg likened the situation to the release of cellphone footage that captured Scott’s killing in April. Slager, too, was charged with murder after firing eight shots at Scott while he fled from a traffic stop. Five of the shots hit Scott from behind.
Police accounts of Scott’s killing were largely discredited after the cellphone footage, captured by passerby Feidin Santana, surfaced.
The community “can find a degree of closure when the truth is publicly released and rumors debunked,” Bamberg said.
Unfortunately, Bamberg added, McDonald’s family had to wait over a year for that to happen.
“Without transparency, there can be no accountability. And without accountability, how can the relationship between citizens and law enforcement be bolstered during a time when it needs it the most?” Bamberg said.
Reach Christina Elmore at 843-937-5908.