April 10, 2015
Feidin Santana on S.C. shooting: I told them what they did was an abuse
(CNN) Feidin Santana, the man who recorded a South Carolina police officer fatally shooting a fleeing, unarmed man, told CNN on Thursday night he was told by another cop to stop using his phone to capture the incident.
“One of the officers told me to stop, but it was because I say to them that what they did was an abuse and I witnessed everything,” he told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360˚.”
Santana told Cooper an officer told him to wait where he was but eventually he left the scene to go to work.
In other interviews, Santana has said he feared for his own life, and that almost kept him from revealing the recording.
While walking to his job
Santana recalled the moments when he recorded a roughly three-minute video of North Charleston Police officer Michael Slager shooting Walter Scott as Scott was running away Saturday. That evidence led to the officer’s firing and arrest on a murder charge.
Santana said when he first came on the scene, as he was walking to his job, he saw Slager on top of Scott, who was on the ground. He could hear the sound of a Taser in use.
At no time did Santana see Scott go after the Taser. He believes Scott was trying to get away.
“Mr. Scott never tried to fight,” Santana told CNN.
Police said Slager used a Taser against Scott, but Slager would also later tell a dispatcher that Scott at some point had grabbed the Taser.
After Slager shot Scott five times, the officer went back to pick up something.
Santana thinks it was the Taser, but said he wasn’t 100% sure what it was.
Neither the struggle nor the use of a Taser was captured on video, because Santana had yet to begin recording.
The cell phone video, which Santana revealed this week, reignited national outcries surrounding police treatment of African-Americans and led to a murder charge against Slager, who is white. Scott was black.
Police said Slager pulled the 50-year-old Scott over for a broken taillight on Saturday morning. Scott, according to a dash cam video, fled from Slager for unexplained reasons, and the officer chased him on foot.
When Santana’s video begins, Scott starts running away from the officer, with Scott’s back to Slager. The video shows Slager shooting at Scott eight times before Scott falls down.