Feidin Santana, the man who recorded the video showing the fatal police shooting of an unarmed man in Charleston, South Carolina, spoke out on Wednesday about the incident.
Santana, 23, said he was walking to work on Tuesday when he saw Officer Michael Slager, 33, struggling on the ground with Walter Scott, 50. Santana began filming, and the resulting video has sparked outrage over what some are calling an unnecessary use of lethal force. Slager, who initially said that Scott grabbed for his taser and that he feared for his life, has been charged with murder.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Craig Melvin, Santana also said he had reservations about turning the video over.
“I even thought about erasing the video,” he said. “I felt that my life, with his information, might be in danger.”
Santana told NBC’s Lester Holt what he saw when he first came onto the scene. “They were down on the floor before I started recording,” he said. “The police had control of the situation – of Scott – and Scott was trying to get away from the taser.”
Santana explained that he had heard the taser discharge and that he felt Scott was attempted to run away from the taser.
After Slager fired at Scott, Santana decided to turn the video over to the attorneys representing Scott’s family.
“They were very emotional,” he said of Scott’s family members. “I thought about their situation. If I had had a family member that [this] happened to, I would like to know the truth.”
When asked by Holt how he feels about Slager being charged with murder, Santana said the matter was one that no one could feel happy about. “He has his family. Mr. Scott also has his family,” he said. “But I think he made a bad decision. And you pay for your decisions in this life. Mr. Scott didn’t deserve it. There were other ways to get him arrested. That wasn’t the proper way.”