By Gerald V. Paul
Following the shooting of another unarmed Black man in the U.S., Knia Singh of Dallas Criminal Defence called the crime “nothing new” yesterday and said he is “doubtful but hopeful with the police community relations on carding” in Toronto.
Walter Scott was hit five times in the back in a volley of eight shots as he ran away following a traffic stop, fired by a North Carolina policeman who is now charged with murder and has been fired.
Singh, an Osgoode Hall legal assistant, told The Camera that carding is illegal and must be scrapped or at least made voluntary.
Anthony, Walter Scott’s brother, asked: “How do you lose your life at a traffic stop?”
Singh said he has been stopped in a traffic situation where there’s no valid reason for the stop.
“I am so disappointed in this. How can the laws be broken by those who we trust to enforce them?
A video taken by a citizen in North Charleston shows the officer, Michael T. Slager, firing eight times as Scott fled, casting doubt on Slager’s report that he feared for his life because Scott had taken his stun gun in a scruffle after the traffic stop on Saturday. The video shows Slager placing what appears to be the Taser by Scott’s lifeless body.
Anthony recalled how his brother told jokes and danced at a family oyster roast three weeks ago.
Singh said the deaths, be it in Ferguson, Cleveland or in Toronto continued to raise the question as why police are too quick to use force, particularly in cases involving Black men.
In January, prosecutors in Albuquerque charged two police officers with murder for shooting a homeless man in a confrontation that was captured by an officer’s body camera. Eric Gardner died last year in Staten Island after a policeman put him in a chokehold, also captured on video by a bystander. Tamir Rice, 12, was carrying a fake toy gun in a park and was shot by police.
At a news conference North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said, “When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. And if you make a bad decision, I don’t care if you’re behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision.”
According to police reports, Slager stopped the driver of a Mercedes Benz with a broken taillight. When Scott ran away, Slager chased him in a grassy lot and fired his Taser. Then shots follow. Slager reported on his radio: “Shots fired and the subject is down. He took my Taser.”