Body Cameras for Police Are ‘Necessity,’ Says Pastor

Christian leaders respond to video of Walter Scott shooting.

No video cameras, no justice.

That’s the way a number of Christian leaders responded to the video footage showing Walter Scott, an unarmed African American man, being shot repeatedly in the back by a North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer.

“I can’t judge the officer’s heart. But I can judge the officer’s actions and they were wrong,” said Derwin Gray, pastor of Transformation Church in Indian Land, South Carolina. “His life was in not in danger.”

Michael T. Slager was arrested Tuesday night and charged with the murder of Scott, a 50-year-old Coast Guard veteran.

Slager had originally claimed the April 4 shooting was in self-defense, saying that Scott had taken the officer’s electronic stun gun in a struggle.

“Police allege that during the struggle the man gained control of the Taser and attempted to use it against the officer,” reported The Post and Courier in Charleston the day of the shooting. “The officer then resorted to his service weapon and shot him, police alleged.”

But a video filmed by a bystander showed Scott fleeing from Slager, who fired eight times, hitting Scott in the back. The video, which also shows Slager standing over Scott’s body and placing something appearing to be a Taser near Scott’s body, was published by The Post and Courier and The New York Times, leading to Slager’s arrest.

Gray said seeing the video left him heartbroken. Scott was no threat to anyone, he said.

“If this is what ‘my life was in danger’ looks like, then God help us,” he told Christianity Today in a phone interview.

This morning, Gray said that Christians should pray for the family of …

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