Family of Police Shooting Victim Calls for Accountability, Not Capital Punishment


The family of Walter Scott, the Black motorist who was fatally shot in the back by police officer Michael Slager in North Charleston, South Carolina, on April 4 wants police held accountable for racial profiling, but does not want to see Slager sentenced to death if he is convicted.

Walter Scott’s brother, Anthony Scott, told journalists that he would plead with the courts to spare Mr. Slager’s life. “Nothing will come from taking another man’s life, no matter how heinous his crime, in revenge or retaliation for my brother’s death,” he said. “We don’t want to see Mr. Slager die, we just want justice for my brother.”

“I pray, we all pray, to God for his soul that we see that justice is served,” Mr. Scott said. “But that justice is not for us as a family in the death chamber.”

Mr. Scott told reporters that the Scott family “want[s] this to stop, and I would like for cops to be accountable.” The family is filing a civil suit against the city and police department. “[T]he killings of innocent and unarmed Black men by white officers has to stop,” Mr. Scott said. He said he “want[s] to see more accountability in [the] United States, and I don’t want to see any more violence.”

Walter Scott’s parents told NBC’s Today show that they were grateful to the person who filmed the shooting. Without the video, Walter Scott Sr. said, “It would’ve never come to light — they would’ve swept it under the rug like they’ve done many others.”

The family hopes the shocking video will spark changes that will spare other families the suffering they’re experiencing. “We don’t advocate violence,” Anthony Scott said. “We advocate change.”