South Carolina Police officer charged with murder

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 8, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: "Impact Segment" tonight: another terrible police shooting in America -- South Carolina this time. Viewer warning: there is some disturbing video coming up.

Thirty-three-year-old North Charleston police officer Michael Slager being held without bail tonight charged with murdering a fleeing suspect on Saturday. The man, 50-year-old Walter Scott, had been broken for a broken taillight. Apparently he panicked because he had some child support issues. He had been arrested ten times prior. Mr. Scott ran from Officer Slager and what happened next was captured on videotape.


SLAGER: 223 Dispatch, shots fired. Subject is down. He grabbed my taser.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 223 Shots fired. He grabbed his taser. Subject is down. At 9:38.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Put your hands behind your back.


O'REILLY: This morning in North Charleston, there was a protest.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Black lives matter. Black lives matter. Black lives matter. Black lives matter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unarmed men are going killed with no retribution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would have happened if that video --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got off. He would have got off. Another Trayvon, he would have got off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would have happened if that video didn't surface?



O'REILLY: With us now, Dr. Chris Metzler who taught Race and Theory and others courses at Georgetown University. How do you assess the situation, Doctor?

DR. CHRIS METZLER, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Well, I think it's a horrible situation. There's absolutely no excuse for what occurred. But let's not use this incident to further inflame racial tensions the way that we have done in past incidences.

I think as we all know when you have such a large police force, you, of course, are going to have people who are not going to follow the rules. And you deal with them. But, in this particular case, I think it's very important to understand each of these police shootings are certainly different from the other ones.

O'REILLY: But, you know, some people are never going to see it that way. What struck me is, when we were doing research for this story, police shootings have fallen 70 percent -- police shootings of black Americans 70 percent in the last 40 or 50 years. So they are way, way down.

In 2012, last stats available, 123 blacks were killed by police; 326 whites were killed. So there doesn't seem to be as some people would have you believe, that police are trying to hunt down young black men and take their lives.

However, there is no excuse for what that officer in South Carolina did.

METZLER: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: You know, broken taillight. You have the guy's car. You know who he is.

METZLER: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: You don't take his life. Even if he tried to grab your taser which obviously in the videotape, you know, the guy was so far away that he wasn't a threat to the officer at that point.

METZLER: Correct.

O'REILLY: So, you have to chalk it up to the man, the police officer you are seeing, allegedly -- and I believe he will be convicted -- committed a crime and let the system play out. He is being held without bail as I mentioned.

But there are people who are not going to let the system play out. They're going to condemn the system. What do you, Doctor, say to those people?

METZER: To those people, I say condemning the system is not the issue. As you have just correctly indicated, there has been a decline. You deal with this as you would with every other crime, one person at a time.

O'REILLY: Ok. And I think that's logical. You take each crime and you put it into whatever context this justice system can provide.

But isn't it true that because of America's racial history, beginning with the abuse of blacks in the slave trade that a lot of African-Americans believe the deck is stacked against them and things like this just reinforce that belief.

METZLER: Well, that is correct. A lot of African-Americans do believe that the deck is stacked against them, because historically, we've of course had Jim Crow laws. We had, you know, all of these horrible things - - horrible things that have occurred.

However, here is what is happening. With all of these incidences, what we are hearing is "never again". What we're seeing is inflamed racial tension. And then we're not seeing any action that occurs as a result of that. You have the people, the so-called civil rights leaders, such as Sharpton and others who are rushing to the scene in a blaze of glory as it were, and at the end of the day what happens? Absolutely nothing happens.

O'REILLY: Well, you can't be a perfect system. There are going to be bad police officers. They are going to make mistakes. And then the mistakes are going to be on national television, particularly because of the videotape and everything else.

METZLER: Well, of course. I mean that's going to occur. The problem, however, is when that occurs it needs to be dealt with in the context of a crime. This is a crime, at least from what we have seen so far, that has occurred.

Now, also, do we know whether, in fact, that the police officer shot this guy because he is black? Do we know that?

O'REILLY: No. Not now.

METZLER: We have absolutely no -- at this point we don't have -- we don't have that evidence.

O'REILLY: Right. Well, you know, obviously all fair-minded people will wait and see. And it looks like the system is working. The man has been arrested.

METZLER: Perfect.

O'REILLY: Right. He is going to be charged with murder.

METZLER: Perfect.

O'REILLY: He doesn't have bail right now.

METZLER: Perfect.

O'REILLY: So, but it just -- it's a shame, isn't it a shame?

METZLER: Well, it is a shame.

O'REILLY: It really is. It besmirches a country -- a country that you have prospered in and I have prospered in.

METZLER: Without question.

O'REILLY: And I just -- I hate to see it.

METZLER: Yes, my success is owed to this country -- period, end of discussion.

O'REILLY: Right. All right, Doc. We appreciate you coming in.

METZLER: My pleasure as always.

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