In the newest chapter of the ongoing scandal involving the possibly wrongful shooting of Walter Scott by police officer Michael Slager in South Carolina on April 4th, The Guardian has obtained dispatch audio that features a phone call received by the officer immediately after the incident, and a conversation involving laughter with another officer.
Immediately after shooting Mr. Scott, Officer Slager said, in a recorded phone conversation, “I just shot somebody.” He goes on to assure the caller, “I’m fine.” In the audio clip, after the phone call Slager goes on to ask a fellow officer how he should progress procedurally.
The officer advises Slager, “It’d probably be a good idea to jot down your thoughts of what happened…Once the adrenaline stops pumping and stuff.”
On Tuesday, Slager was charged in connection with the shooting that was captured on a bystander’s video camera and went viral on the Internet and around the world. The video shows the officer firing eight times at Scott, who is running away. Slager has since been fired from the police force.
Many theories and conspiracies have emerged in the aftermath of the footage, which depicts a second officer, Clarence Habersham, kneeling over Scott’s body after arriving on the scene. At the same time, Officer Slager is seen returning to spot where he fired the fatal shots, picking something up, and dropping it near the body of Scott. Critics believe that this is proof of evidence tampering on his part, and Officer Habersham’s possible complicity.
Reverend Al Sharpton officiated at a memorial ceremony for Scott on Sunday, attended by Mayor Keith Summey and Police Chief Eddie Driggers, while protesters took up posts outside city hall, in a nonviolent protest.