Following the New York Times' Tuesday evening release of video showing South Carolina police officer Michael T. Slager shooting a middle-aged black man as he ran away from the officer, scores of Internet users took to social media to share their feelings and frustrations on issues of police brutality and race relations that have continued to plague the country.
In the disturbing footage, Walter L. Scott, 50, can be seen falling after Slager fires eight rounds. Afterward, Slager casually walks over to him and appears to drop his stun gun near Scott's body. The video contradicted a report Slager filed saying that Scott had taken his stun gun from him.
After originally issuing a defense, Slager's lawyer, David Aylor disavowed his association with the cop, telling Mic that he was "no longer involved in form or fashion" with the client. Slager is now facing murder charges.
Online, there was outrage at a system that seems to have no effective check on out-of-control police.
Focus also centered around the video, which so openly contradicted Slager's account of what happened. Many wondered if justice would have been done without it and speculated about how often justice may have been denied in other cases.
Others also applauded the anonymous bystander who took the video as a hero. So far, the man has yet to come forward.
There also existed a sense of painful resignation at how nothing seems to change even with each new case seemingly more horrible than the last. #WalterScott and #WalterScottRIP was trending on Twitter.
Resignation is understandable. When Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Missouri, people said, "If only there were body cameras, for the camera doesn't lie." Then when Eric Garner was filmed being choked to death by an NYPD officer who went unpunished, people threw their hands up and said, "What now?"
Until now, the idea that an officer would murder a citizen and then deliberately plant incriminating evidence on the body might have been written off as a conspiracy theory. But with a growing body of video evidence proving the existence of this kind of incident, it's becoming impossible to ignore this very scary fact about so many U.S. police officers.