White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest began the White House press briefing today by commenting on the South Carolina police officer charged with murder after shooting and killing of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man.
“I can tell you that the reaction from others that I’ve talked to around the White House today is that the video is awfully hard to watch,” Earnest said, referring to the widely viewed video that surfaced after the shooting.
Earnest said that although he hadn’t had a chance to discuss the video with the president, he said he wouldn’t be surprised if Barack Obama had already seen it because of the media attention that was received.
Earnest pointed out that video footage of shooting incidents is vital for police investigations of questionable cases of the use of force.
“I think even the investigators themselves acknowledged that when video evidence was presented it changed the way that they were looking at this case,” Earnest said, pointing out that body cameras worn by police officers would be very helpful in these cases.
Scott’s father also pointed to the video’s impact on the case in an interview with the Today show.
“It would have never come to light. They would have swept it under the rug, like they did with many others,” he said.
During the briefing, Earnest was challenged by Fox News reporter James Rosen for discussing the video without clarifying that the case that was ongoing and that the officer had not yet been found guilty in a court of law.
“I certainly would stipulate that that’s true,” Earnest admitted in response.