78ºF

Friend of SC man killed by police talks to KSAT about police brutality

Friend of Walter Scott hopes his interview will continue national conversation, bring change

photo

SAN ANTONIO – Outrage spread across America after learning a former South Carolina police officer charged with killing 50-year-old Walter Scott, won't face the death penalty if convicted.

One of Scott's childhood friends, who now lives in San Antonio, is speaking about his frustration. He said change is long overdue and he hopes talking about Scott's death will continue the conversation.

Isaac Jenkins doesn't have any old pictures of his friend Scott, but he remembers fun times growing up with him in North Charleston, South Carolina.

"I knew him through school. We grew up together playing ball in the park. He was not a person to get into trouble. He always listened, did good in school," Jenkins said.

He also has bitter memories from those times memories of racism, and fear of the police.

"There's always been a trust issue with the police in South Carolina," Jenkins said.

When he saw a witness' cellphone video of former Officer Michael Slager shooting at Scott's back eight times and hitting him five, he was heartbroken.

"When the officer ran back and grabbed what appeared to be his Taser and dropped it by the body, that's telling me in my mind that this was an intended thing," Jenkins said.

In a police dashcam video released Monday, Slager can be heard telling a fellow officer, "I don't understand why he'd run." Jenkins said he knows a possible reason.

"A lot of times down there, we run from police. Just for the fact that we know, we're intimidated by what the outcome could be. So we've always tried to run away from the police," he said.

Some say Scott ran because he owed child support. We'll never truly know, but Jenkins' main thoughts are about Scott's four children.

"Those kids are going to have to live with that the rest of their lives," Jenkins said. "And now they're going to be the ones saying, 'If something happens, do we call the police?'"

That's why he said we need change now, and not just in South Carolina, but across the nation.


About the Author: