Feidin Santana testified at the murder trial of Michael Slager that the cop’s unarmed victim wasn’t fighting but trying to escape.”>
CHARLESTON If Feidin Santana hadnt overslept on April 4, 2015, hed likely be home in the Dominican Republic, enjoying time with his family.
Instead, he spent Friday testifying in a courtroom in Charleston, South Carolina, describing how “hes come to” famously cinema a police officer shooting an unarmed suspect in the back.
Santana was called as a witness by prosecutors seeking to convict former North Charleston policeman Michael Slager of the murder of 50 -year-old Walter Scott.
Slager had pulled Scotts vehicle over for a broken taillight in April 2015. Scott soon fled the vehicle, initiating a chase that ended with Slager firing five bullets into Mr. Scott, who crumpled to the ground and died.
Slager claimed Scott had grabbed his Taser and that he shot the suspect in self-defense. But weeks later Santana released a video of the shooting, prompting much public outrage and leading to Slagers firing from the police department and his arrest for murder.
On the stand Friday, Santana explained that he was overdue for work on a barbershop the morning he overslept. Despite his tardiness, he strayed from the most direct route to run, unwilling to walk along a busy highway, preferring to listen to music and exercise a bit. His selection of this route was fateful, as he soon insured Scott and Slager operating toward him before turning into an empty lot.
He followed the men, rediscovering them both on the ground, scuffling. Slager was on top of Scott and punching the suspect, said Santana, and he could hear an electric sound that he subsequently learned was from the use of a police Taser. Scott then get up aggressively and shook himself free of Slagers grip, said Santana, before turning to run.
Santana filmed a final section of this struggle as well as Slager then firing eight shoots at Scott, who was running away from the officer.
Its something I will never forget, said Santana. Its something I didnt expect.
Defense attorney Andy Savage questioned Santanas perspective and recollection of events, repeatedly referring to the encounter between Scott and Slager as a fight.
Santana took issue with this characterization, telling Savage that he understood a fight to be some kind of attack or altercation between two or more people.
It wasnt a fight, said Santana, claiming he saw Scott merely trying to flee from Slager, never attacking him.
He was trying to get away from the Taser I was hearing, said Santana.
It was an injustice what I saw, he afterwards added.