Many have hailed the bystander who captured the shooting death of Walter Scott on camera and hurriedly handed over the footage to Walter’s family as a hero.
Feidin Santana, a 23-year-old barber who immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic, was on his way to work when he noticed an on-ground struggle between Walter and Officer Michael Slager.
Quickly thinking on his feet, Feidin immediately grabbed for his phone and began recording the struggle.
In the footage, which gripped and outraged millions of Americans, we see Officer Slager gun down a fleeing Walter and later plant his taser near Walter’s body to corroborate his account of the incident.
Now that Slager has been charged with murder and terminated from the police force, Feidin has come forward.
In an extended interview with MSNBC, Feidin admitted that he thought about deleting the video.
“I won’t deny that I knew the magnitude of this, and I even thought about erasing the video. I felt that my life, with this information, might be in danger. I thought about erasing the video and just getting out of the community, you know Charleston, and living some place else. I knew the cop didn’t do the right thing.”
This morning, he informed Matt Lauer in a separate interview that he still fears retribution of sorts.
While speaking with an MSNBC correspondent, Feidin also gave his account of what happened between Walter and Officer Slager.
“There was a struggle. They were down on the floor before I started recording. I remember the police had control of the situation. He had control of Scott, and Scott was just trying to get away from the taser. […] I was hearing the sound [of the taser] before I started recording. I believe Scott was trying to get away from the taser. But like I said, [Walter] never used the taser against [Officer Slager]. Scott runs away, and as you can see in the video, the police officer just shot him in the back, and I knew right away that I had something in my hands.”
For those of you interested in this story, we have two videos below of Feidin speaking with media. Please check them out.
Feidin’s interview on TODAY
Feidin’s interview with MSNBC