Geraldo Rivera, Apologist for Murder

The cold-blooded murder of Walter Scott in South Carolina by a cop named Michael Slager, caught on video in stark detail, once again has some of the nation’s worst people becoming apologists for the killing of innocents. Horrible person Geraldo Rivera adds his racist assholery to the discussion:

Unlike the video taken by Feidin Santana that showed a brief struggle between Slager and Scott before the officer calmly shot Scott multiple times in the back as he was fleeing, the new video shows the initial stop — supposedly for a broken taillight –but no physical interaction between the men.

Geraldo called Slager’s pulling over of Scott “a righteous traffic stop,” adding that Scott was “acting very hinky and edgy,” before cautioning viewers that they needed to put the whole incident in context.

“You don’t see, but there is reliable, I think, eyewitness account that there is then a struggle after the Taser. So, up until that point, the cop with his adrenaline pumping, now he’s been in a physical tussle, and now the perpetrator has reached for the Taser allegedly. Now it gives you the context of his blood boiling,” Geraldo explained. “[Slager] has done everything professional and now he’s had this, this civilian has dared to physically have this altercation with the officer. Put that in the officer’s head now. I think it saves him from the murder rap.”

Oh, of course. Like the abusive husband who kills his wife is saved from a murder rap because his blood was boiling from an argument they had. Imagine what he would have said if the guy was wearing a hoodie. Fuck you, Geraldo.

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  • tbp1

    Aren’t cops supposed to be, you know, trained in how to deal with emotionally charged situations without losing it entirely and killing unarmed people? Aren’t the excessively volatile types supposed to be screened out in the first place?

    I get it that it’s easy to criticize, but c’mon—there have been just too many cases recently that are blatantly egregious. (And as others have pointed out—who knows how many of these situations went unnoticed in the days before almost everyone had essentially a movie camera on their person 24/7?)

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    You don’t see, but there is reliable, I think, eyewitness account that there is then a struggle after the Taser.

    Yeah, we don’t see, which is why we have no reason to believe what Gerald Rivers alleges.

    And what the fuck does he mean by “after the taser?” After the cop dropped a taser next to the dying or dead body of the unarmed guy he’d just shot in the back? The guy wasn’t quire dead yet and was still struggling to, what, breathe? Get up? Say something?

    This is a new low, even for Gerald Rivers.

  • colnago80

    Re Raging Bee @ #2

    Pretty hard to get lower then Al Capone’s empty tomb. Gerald Rivers has been an asshole for a long time and his moving from MSNBC

  • colnago80

    Re #3

    to the Fascist News Channel was most appropriate.

  • D. C. Sessions

    And as others have pointed out—who knows how many of these situations went unnoticed in the days before almost everyone had essentially a movie camera on their person 24/7?

    And that’s why it’s essential to do as Texas is: go back to those good old days by criminalizing the use of cameras near police.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    I’m sure we can count on racist name-calling chickenhawk colnago to tell us all about going low.

  • D. C. Sessions

    I’m sure we can count on racist name-calling chickenhawk colnago to tell us all about going low.

    Could we, just every now and then, have a comment thread which at least waits a while before resuming the perennial pissing contest?

  • colnago80

    Re Raging Bee @ #6

    Hey, it’s ole Bee on the down low.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Hey, it’s ole Bee on the down low.

    Hope crushed once again.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Sure we can, as soon as colnago either backs up or apologizes for his false accusations. Until then, I see no reason why he should be considered worthy of respect.

  • colnago80

    Re Raging Bee @ #10

    Maybe Bee should take a page from the Michael Heath playbook and just ignore me.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    To be fair to the cop, he knew his life was in danger. He had no choice. He was backed in to a corner. Driving with a taillight out is a gang sign, you see. The number of bulbs out is the number of police they’ve killed by ambling away from. Sucks the air right out of their lungs, you see.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    So you’re admitting you’ll never behave any more decently than you are now, and we have no choice but to ignore you? That’s both classic trolling, and classic childishness.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Uh, so has anybody seen this alleged new video (outside of Rivera’s imagination, that is)?

  • eric

    Now it gives you the context of his blood boiling,” Geraldo explained. “[Slager] has done everything professional and now he’s had this, this civilian has dared to physically have this altercation with the officer. Put that in the officer’s head now. I think it saves him from the murder rap.”

    That’s for the jury to decide. IANAL but I could definitely see the defense arguing that Slager had zero intent to kill Scott until the moment he did so, so that it isn’t first or second degree murder but rather manslaughter because it wasn’t premeditated.

    So under one interpretation of ‘beat the murder rap’, he might, because he might get a manslaughter conviction instead. But if Ed is right and Geraldo intends to be describing why the cop shouldn’t be found guilty of anything, then no, I don’t see how the circumstances of the killing make this not-a-crime-at-all.

  • dingojack

    “Second Degree Murder: Definition. Second-degree murder is ordinarily defined as: 1) an intentional killing that is not premeditated or planned, nor committed in a reasonable “heat of passion”; or 2) a killing caused by dangerous conduct and the offender’s obvious lack of concern for human life.”

    Seems to fit into a) above, but IANAL.

    Dingo

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    a righteous traffic stop

    A tail light, which could have been a pretext stop, which might have been ignored depending on the appearance of the driver and would have been ignored if the cop was near the end of his shift.

  • Synfandel

    Little known fact: Acting very hinky and edgy is a capital offense in South Carolina.

  • Artor

    You can tell the pig’s blood was boiling from the calm & considered way he gunned a man down from behind, and casually faked evidence to make it look like his blood was boiling.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Every time I hear an American boastfully singing about the land of the free and the home of the brave I think to myself, ‘What a fuckwit.’

  • John Pieret

    I am sometimes ashamed that “Jerry” (as he was known then) went to the same law school as I did. But he didn’t practice law much. in the beginning he actually did some very good investigative journalism, as in the Willowbrook State Hospital abuses and migrant worker conditions on Long Island.

    But then …

  • John Pieret

    @ 15 & 16:

    As a legal matter he’d have a tough time making the argument that taking aim at the back of a fleeing person and firing multiple times isn’t premeditated or that it was in the heat of passion (reasonable or not).

    Still, he’s going to be tried before a South Carolina jury …

  • colnago80

    Re John Pieret @ #21

    Back in 1994, ole Gerry’s career appeared to be headed for the dumpster. Then he got hired by MSNBC to host a talk show focused on the O. J. Simpson trial then getting underway. That revived his faltering career. He owes Simpson big time for that revival. If only Simpson had caught a 10:00 PM flight to Chicago on the night of June 12, 1994! Two people might be alive and Gerry would have been yesterday’s news.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Still, he’s going to be tried before a South Carolina jury …

    Remember: the jury doesn’t need to explain or otherwise justify its decision. So in the privacy of the room where they’re alone and even the judge doesn’t intrude without permission, “one less damn nigger” works just fine.

  • Scott Hanley

    Seems to me that pointing out how frequently police shoot unarmed black men without facing charges IS “putting the whole incident into context.”

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Aren’t cops supposed to be, you know, trained in how to deal with emotionally charged situations without losing it entirely and killing unarmed people?

    No, they are trained to lose it entirely and start killing people.

    I used to occasionally talk to this guy who was a “law enforcement sniper” – like the jackass in the pictures of Ferguson, up on the roof of the van with the bipod rifle and scope – their training is to sit there and listen on the radio and if some cop starts sounding upset they’re going to look at what appears to be going on, and kill someone. A lot of cops attitude more closely resembles a leashed attack dog, waiting for the leash to release so they can fuck someone righteously up. Their “hostage rescue training” for example is all about figuring who to shoot first. It shouldn’t require advanced rocket science to predict what they’ll do in a stressful situation: you react the way you were trained. (although, OMG, cops’ fire control could use a lot of work, too!)

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Maybe Bee should take a page from the Michael Heath playbook and just ignore me.

    Or you could fuck off to some fascist blog where you’d fit in better. Just a bit of wishful thinking…

  • colnago80

    Re Marcus Ranum @ 27

    You mean like Don Black’s site, Stormfront? I don’t think I would be very welcolm there.

  • maddog1129

    What was the worst thing that could happen if Scott ran away? What required shooting? Blood boiling or no, there was no reason to shoot.

  • dingojack

    SLC (#28) – what? As opposed to the joyous reception your sloppy, poorly argued, poorly cited, infantile, genocidal idiocy gets here, you mean?

    Dingo

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    What was the worst thing that could happen if Scott ran away?

    The cop would have had to call for backup, and someone else would likely get to add Scott’s arrest to his quota? Given that a lot of towns tie their cops’ pay-raises to their “performance,” as measured by numbers of arrests, I’d say that could have been a contributing factor to this fiasco.

  • abb3w

    @24, D. C. Sessions

    Remember: the jury doesn’t need to explain or otherwise justify its decision. So in the privacy of the room where they’re alone and even the judge doesn’t intrude without permission, “one less damn nigger” works just fine.

    Only if there’s an all-white jury. If any juror were to say that in the jury room with even one non-White juror present, I suspect the Judge might get an invitation to intrude on that exact basis. Contrariwise, there’s good odds one or more might be thinking something on those lines inside the privacy of their own head; but that’s a rather more private room indeed, as long as they keep the thought on the inside.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Contrariwise, there’s good odds one or more might be thinking something on those lines inside the privacy of their own head; but that’s a rather more private room indeed, as long as they keep the thought on the inside.

    Yeah, and how often does that happen?

  • http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com tommykey

    If Scott was able to run away, he might have committed more crimes! #mockconservative

  • busterggi

    Modus @ 12. is right, Slager had every reason to believe that a fleeing black man might jump down, turn around, pick a bale of cotton and then throw it at him.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    You mean like Don Black’s site, Stormfront? I don’t think I would be very welcolm there.

    With that laughable misspelling, you’d fit right in. That’d just be icing on the stinking brown cake of nuke-happy racist chickenhawkery you call a worldview.

  • lorn

    I think events, lack of planning and anticipation, rule out a first-degree murder charge. A good lawyer, citing the same context as Rivera claiming it was a crime of passion, might claim it a third-degree murder and sell it to a jury or judge. Given the mood of the country, assuming it is possible, I think Slager’s lawyer might be better off avoiding a jury trial and making his case to the judge.

  • colnago80

    Re lorn @ #37

    In jurisdictions that I am familiar with, 3 degree murder = 1st degree manslaughter.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Given the mood of the country, assuming it is possible, I think Slager’s lawyer might be better off avoiding a jury trial and making his case to the judge.

    Cops who shoot unarmed black men have a really good track record when tried by juries.

    Of course, the trial judge is an elected official, too. “Soft on crime” is going to be constantly on his mind. And by that I don’t mean “soft on trigger-happy cops.”

  • marcus

    Seating an all white jury is, IMO, going to be difficult to pull off in SC. Demographically, as most of you probably know, the southern states are usually split fairly evenly between white and black people. It’s not impossible, but it is certainly going to send up red flags if it does happen. The evidence is pretty clear, it is possible he could be convicted with fair representation on the jury.

  • D. C. Sessions

    It doesn’t have to be all-white. Just majority-white.

  • felidae

    Geraldo’s history of sleazy reportage–I can’t use the term journalism–proves nothing is too sleazy for FOX news.

  • felidae

    There is a good chance Slager could be acquitted if the prosecution only goes for the murder one charge without a lesser included charge like manslaughter because it would give the judge and jury a perfect out in that his actions did not fit the criteria for murder one, calling for an acquittal or a directed verdict

  • abb3w

    @33ish, D. C. Sessions

    Yeah, and how often does that happen?

    Racists seem pretty bad about keeping those views private.