Cops Shoot 2 Black Men in the Back, Killing Both in Separate Incidents

By Frederick H. Lowe

Two police officers in two different cities on the same day shot and killed two different black men by shooting the men several times in the back.

Only one of the police officers has been named, fired, arrested and charged with murder, but the other cop was not named. Instead he has been assigned desk duty.

Deadly shootings in Illinois and South Carolina

The deadly shootings of the Justus Howell, 17, of Waukegan, Ill., and Walter Scott, 50, of North Charleston, S.C., occurred on Saturday April 4th, according to press releases issued by law enforcement agencies in both states.

Michael Slager, a North Charleston police officer, was charged with murder for the Saturday morning shooting death of  Scott, who Slager had pulled over during a traffic stop, citing a broken tail light.

Walter Scott

Walter Scott

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, which is based in Columbia, announced on April 7th that Slager had been charged with murder, a felony that carries a penalty of death or 30 years in prison if the person is convicted. Slager was booked into the Charleston County Detention Center.

On Wednesday, North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey announced that Officer Slager had been fired from the city’s police force. Summey also announced that he had signed an executive order to procure and install an additional 150 police cameras. Previously, he had authorized the purchase of 110 police cameras.

Initially, Slager claimed that Scott took his taser and ran away, but a witness, whose identity was not disclosed, filmed the incident, raising questions about Slager’s statement.

The video showed Scott running away from Slager, and Slager firing his gun eight times, shooting Scott in the back. As the bullets pierced Scott’s body, the video captures his body jerking violently as he falls to his knees and crashes face down on the ground.

Slager then shouts to Scott, “Put your hands behind your back.” An unidentified African-American cop then appears and handcuffs the lifeless Scott, pulling his arms behind his back.

Off camera, a man can be heard saying,”Oh, shit” and “shit.” It is not known if he is the man who took the video.

Slager claimed he feared for his life, but a video showing him shooting a fleeing Scott challenges his claim of self defense, a defense commonly used by police to justify their use of deadly force. The video also shows Slager dropping something near Scott’s body.


Captured on Video

It is not clear what effect the graphic video will have on the prosecution of Slager because in the past grand juries and juries have ignored the evidence, siding with the police.

This was evident in the illegal chokehold death of Eric Garner by Daniel Pantaleo,  a New York City police officer. Ramsey Orta filmed the entire incident, which occurred on July 17, 2014, but on Dec. 3, 2014, a Staten Island, N.Y., grand jury refused to indict Pantaleo.


Deadly shooting in Zion

On the same day that Scott was killed by police, another deadly shooting occurred in Zion, Ill., a city 48 miles north of Chicago.

Justus Howell killed after being shot in the back by an unnamed Zion, Ill., police officer.

Justus Howell was killed after being shot in the back by an unnamed Zion, Ill., police officer.

A  Zion police officer killed Justus Howell, 17, by shooting him twice in the back, Dr. Thomas A. Rudd, the Lake County, Ill., coroner told NorthStar News Today. com and Blackmansstreet.Today.

One gunshot was to his right back, penetrating subcutaneous tissue and entering his right shoulder, Dr. Rudd said. The second, to his left back, penetrated Howell’s spleen, liver and the apex of his heart.

The toxicology report will not be available for several weeks, Dr. Rudd said. Howell was pronounced dead at Vista East Medical Center in Waukegan, Ill.

Zion cop not identified

Although Dr. Rudd has issued a news release about Howell’s death, the Zion Police Department has refused to name the cop who killed Howell, saying only that he was 32 years old and a nine-year police department veteran.

The unnamed officer has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is typical following a fatal shooting.

Tramond Peet, 18, told police that he met Howell who wanted to buy a pistol from him. Howell, however, tried to take the gun without paying for it, resulting in a struggle  between the two men. Police said a shot was fired into the ground.

Police were called,  and Howell tried to run away with the gun when the unnamed police officer shot him.

Witnesses said, however, that Howell did not have the gun when police killed him.  The witnesses also pointed out that Howell was running away with his back to the police when he was shot.

Police charged Peet of Lindenhurst, Ill., with two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. Zion police said he was arrested in conjunction with the officer-involved shooting.  As of Monday, Peet was being held in jail on a $15,000 bond.

Nearly 300 deadly shootings by police since January

The website reported that 291 individuals have been killed by police between Jan. 1, 2015 and March 31, 2015.


  1. When will we hold the Police Captains of these precincts accountable. Let’s start there. What are black people afraid of?Stop allowing these Mayors to speak. The police culture MUST change and it MUST start at the top!

  2. Greg Thrasher says:

    In America of late Negrophobia is now lethal from cowards like George Zimmerman to the state sponsored terrorists operating under the color of the law that execute unarmed Black men without due process 24/7….This racial depravity is present in every venue of our nation the contempt for Black life is real and permeates in every layer of life in America…The DOJ’s report on Ferguson detailed how municipal governments and elected officials have made this part of the daily protocols of governance…..Watching this video reinforced the reality of racial depravity in post racial America even with a Black man in the White House…Given the apparent depravity of this killer cop it is plausible the deceased was told to run for his life. So here we are again in America I cannot find any reason for this continued disregard for my every essence and dignity as a Black American in the USA.

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