Man Who Recorded South Carolina Shooting: "I'm Still Scared"

Photo: Courtesy of Feidin Santana
The bystander who recorded video showing North Charleston police officer Michael Slager shooting unarmed, fleeing Walter Scott has started speaking out, and he is afraid his good deed will make him a target for punishment. "I'm still scared," he told Matt Lauer on Thursday.

Feidin Santana, 23, said on Tuesday night that he considered erasing the video before he turned it over to police. "I felt that my life, with this information, might be in danger," Santana told MSNBC's Chris Hayes. "I thought about erasing the video and just getting out of the community." He turned the video over, Santana said on Today, because if Scott had been a member of his family, he "would like to know the truth." 
Santana's fear of retaliation is completely reasonable. Police have been repeatedly caught on tape harassing and sometimes arresting citizens trying to film them. And, in one of the most high-profile recent cases, Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed the killing of Eric Garner, claims he was framed for weapons possession just weeks after Garner's death. 
Santana was walking to work on Saturday morning when he saw Slager and Scott in a field, and he began recording video on his cell phone just before Slager shot Scott six times. In Slager's first report of the shooting, the officer said he and Scott struggled over his Taser before he fired his gun. Santana's video shows Scott clearly running away, and Slagel moving an object that resembled a Taser closer to Scott's body after the shooting. The video also contradicts other officers who said they attempted to give Scott first aid after the shooting.

Slager has been charged with murder, and the North Charleston police chief announced Wednesday that the department will speed up its plan to equip officers with body cameras.

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