‘What’s done in the dark… comes to the light’

abcnews(image: ABC News)

A South Carolina police officer was charged with murder after a dramatic video emerged of him shooting an apparently unarmed black man in the back. Walter Scott, 50, died on Saturday in North Charleston after being shot by the officer, 33-year-old Michael Slager, following a traffic stop.

The video, taken by an anonymous bystander, was made available to the New York Times and other news outlets on Tuesday. The Times said it was provided “by the Scott family’s lawyer.” Mr Slager was then fired, arrested and charged on Tuesday evening.

The Times reports the Mayor of North Charleston announcing the charges thus:

“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” Mayor Keith Summey said of the shooting during the news conference. “And if you make a bad decision, don’t care if you’re behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision.”

In a press conference by the Scott family on Tuesday night, lawyers for the family said the person who took the video “will speak at some point and right now are working with the investigating agencies.” They also called for any other video that might exist of the incident to be made public.

Justin Bamberg, a lawyer for the family and a local legislator, said: “What’s done in the dark typically comes to the light, and this is an example of what can happen when people are willing to step up and do the right thing for the right reasons.”

Local paper The Post and Courier in Charleston has full ongoing coverage.

Post and Courier story on Sunday quotes Mr Scott’s brother:

“We just would like for justice to be taken, for justice to be served, and we would like for the truth to come out so my brother can rest in peace,” said Anthony Scott of his younger brother Walter Scott, 50. “Whatever happened yesterday, that’s all we want is the truth, and we will go to any length to get it.”


* POLITICS * Kentucky Senator Rand Paul became the second Republican to formally enter the race for the party’s Presidential nomination, pledging to “take back the country” and oppose the “Washington machine”. Jeremy Peters at the New York Times says he’s trying an “untested” route to the White House:

Offering a conservative message threaded with a contrarian strain of libertarianism that he hopes will appeal to minority and younger voters, Mr. Paul is taking perhaps the most unconventional and untested route to assembling the broader coalition that many Republicans say they will need to remain a viable national party.

After YouTube’s copyright system took Sen Paul’s declaration announcement down, Yahoo  takes a look at his online presence, calling it “structured and robust” in contrast to that of his only – thus far – competitor, Ted Cruz.

Todd Purdum writes at Politico on whether “splashy campaign kickoffs” really matter, while The Washington Post‘s Alexandra Petri writes how Paul and Cruz secretly gave the same speech:

But has no one who attends these speeches ever seen or heard another political speech before? You’d think they would grow weary of this. The Internet exists. We have heard this before. Meanwhile, any actual ideas or concrete policy proposals are allotted a single sentence at best, and they must fight their way through a dense thicket of protestations about loving the country and being eager to give the next generation of Americans a kidney or two. We zone out for a second, miss them and are forced to decide elections based on asinine criteria like who is taller or whom we want to have a beer with.


Washington DC suffered a widespread lack of power today. Insert your own joke here.

In Chicago, incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel won re-election following a run-off vote, defeating progressive challenger, Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, roughly 55.5%-44.5%, with about 90 per cent of precincts reporting.

Tuesday was also election day in Ferguson, Missouri, where indications were that turnout had reportedly doubled from the previous city council contests.


* WORLD * The jury in the Boston Marathon bombing trial resumes deliberations for a second day on Wednesday. If 21-year-old Dzokhar Tsarnaev is found guilty, the same 12 jurors will hear a second round of evidence before determining whether to sentence him to death or to life in prison without possibility of parole.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is in Moscow for talks with Vladimir Putin. The Guardian writes that: “With Greece suffering its worst credit crisis in modern times, the defiant leader flew into Russia amid speculation that [Putin] might make an offer of financial help he would find hard to resist.”

Shipyard officials in Russia said that a fire had been extinguished on a nuclear submarine which is undergoing repairs at a yard in the northern province of Arkhangelsk. Officials said no weapons were on board and the vessel’s reactor had been shut down.

As fighting continues amid warnings of a humanitarian crisis in the Yemeni port of Aden, the US said it was speeding up weapons deliveries to a Saudi-led coalition bombing Houthi rebels.

The Los Angeles Times reports that California communities with the highest per-capita water consumption could be required to cut water use by as much as 35% over the next year.


* MEDIA * HBO Now, the standalone streaming service, was launched, representing one more step towards cable cord-cutting. Nicole Laporte writes at Fast Company about HBO CEO Richard Plepler and how his company has “had Netflix on the brain for years.”

HBO has not exactly been standing still over the past two years, adding more subscribers in 2014 than in any of its previous 30 years; its creative hot streak has continued with True DetectiveSilicon ValleyLooking, and more; and it’s far more profitable than Netflix ($1.8 billion versus $403 million in 2014). Yet this good fortune hasn’t prevented Plepler from recognizing the potency of the threat that Netflix and its ilk present.


Google’s head of Brand PropositionDerek Scobie tells The Drum how brands need to “relinquish control over the type of content they want to produce on YouTube and instead listen to audience insights to steer them in the right direction.”

(The Drum)

Adweek, meanwhile, has details of a report showing that  more advertisers will run video campaigns on Facebook this year than on YouTube.

Letter of the day:

And here’s the story, via Poynter.

* CULTURE * In one of the most Fort Greene stories ever, that short-lived Edward Snowden bust in a Brooklyn park yesterday was replaced by a hologram. NPR reports:

NPR spoke with three members of the collective, and they said their decision to replace the sculpture was a bit spontaneous. They had actually gone to the park to see the sculpture, but got there too late. “We biked over to check it out, and by the time we got there, the sculpture had been wrapped in blue tarp by the NYPD, and then it was swiftly removed,” said Kyle Depew, a member of the collective. “We were never actually able to see the bust with our own eyes. We were inspired to do what we do best, which is light projection to pay tribute to the work that these anonymous artists had done in creating the sculpture and to further the conversation, to further the story and the discussion about Edward Snowden.”


* SPORTS * UConn defeated Notre Dame to win the women’s NCAA basketball championship. It’s the Huskies’ third straight championship and 10th title overall.

As the baseball season gets into gear, Romenesko reports that “several” McClatchy newspapers are dropping box scores. 


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