Video released showing Michael Slager tasing man during 2014 stop

Video released showing Michael Slager tasing man during 2014 stop
North Charleston PD dash camera showing former North Charleston PD officer Michael Slager tasing Julius Wilson (Source: WCSC)
North Charleston PD dash camera showing former North Charleston PD officer Michael Slager tasing Julius Wilson (Source: WCSC)
Protesters show up at Wilson's press conference. (Source: WCSC)
Protesters show up at Wilson's press conference. (Source: WCSC)

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Authorities have released dash camera footage from North Charleston police cruisers showing Michael Slager tasing a man following a traffic stop in 2014.

The newly released videos shows Slager responding to a traffic stop in North Charleston to assist an officer.

At one point during the video, officers are seen attempting to get the driver, identified as Julius Wilson, out of the car. The video shows Slager tasing Wilson after officers remove him from the car.

On Monday, Wilson's lawyer said his client's civil rights were violated in the traffic stop. Wilson's lawyers announced last week they were filing a lawsuit against Slager for the August 2014 incident.

Wilson claims Slager tased him while two other officers held him down during the traffic stop.

Wilson is filing a civil lawsuit against Slager, two other officers, Police Chief Eddie Driggers and the North Charleston Police Department for excessive force, reckless indifference and gross negligence.

"It's more than Slager and what he did, just all bad, corrupt cops," Wilson said Monday afternoon.

During a press conference on Monday, Wilson's attorney, Nick Clekis, said his client's civil rights were violated in the incident.

"He pleaded guilty to resisting arrest, but in the process of that arrest he was also tased after he had been put into submission by the officers," Clekis said.

Wilson said Walter Scott's shooting gave him courage to come forward, and said anyone else victimized by Slager should come forward.

"I grew up in South Carolina and during my lifetime I have witnessed violent acts by police officers," Wilson said."Without proof of such acts, the word of police officers was always taken over the word of victims forced to endure the violent acts. The video shows, I myself have been a victim of such force by the police."

Attorney John Gentry, who is also working Wilson's case, said the issue is whether Slager was justified in tasing Wilson while face down on the ground and being held down. 

Gentry answered,"No."

The lawsuit accuses Slager, Officer Bradley Woods and Officer Jerome Clements of forcibly pulling Wilson out of his vehicle then forcibly restraining him on his stomach face down on the pavement.

On Monday, North Charleston police officials released the police reports on the Aug. 25, 2014 incident.

Woods said he conducted a traffic stop in the area of Rivers Avenue and Dorchester Road on Wilson's car for a broken side brake light.

Woods said he asked Wilson to roll down the window so he could speak to him due to the windows being tinted; Woods reported the driver's side window was down only an inch when he approached the vehicle. When Wilson rolled the window down two more inches, the officer said he asked him several more times to lower the window until it was rolled down.

The officer reported that Wilson appeared to be nervous and had a "low tone" when speaking. According to Woods, Wilson handed him a Georgia driver's license, and would "vaguely" answer the officer's questions.

A SCDMV inquiry showed Wilson had a suspended driver's license in South Carolina for habitual offender. 

Woods then requested assisting units due to Wilson's demeanor; Slager would be the first to respond to Woods' request, and another officer would subsequently get to the scene. 

Woods said when he asked Wilson to step out of the car, Wilson asked why and at that point Woods said he would explain. After Wilson said he was not getting out his car, Woods said he advised Wilson several more times to exit his vehicle to which Wilson refused.

Woods said he told Wilson that he was under arrest for driver under suspension third-offense and told him to get out of the vehicle. 

Police say Wilson refused to get out of the car again.

According to police, Woods unbuckled Wilson's seatbelt and attempted to "assist him from the vehicle," at which point Wilson tensed up and began to resist Woods and Slager, who had responded to the incident.

A police report states Woods said as he and Slager attempted to "assist the defendant from the vehicle," Wilson pulled his arm away and began to reach toward the center console.

According to police, Woods said Slager advised him that Wilson was reaching for something, so Woods took out his gun and pointed it at Wilson.

Woods says officers were able to get Wilson on the ground where Wilson continued to resist officers after given "loud verbal commands to stop resisting." 

According to Woods, an item fell from Wilson's hands and Wilson attempted to retrieve it. At that time, Woods said Slager deployed his taser and tased Wilson. 

According to Slager's report, he tased Wilson after refusing to obey officers' commands. In Slager's report, Wilson continued to resist and refused to put his hands behind his back. Slager said, at that point, he unholstered his taser, turned it on, and proceeded to yell "taser" three times. 

Slager said Wilson continued to resist and refused to obey officers' orders. Slager reported that he turned on his taser, activated it and struck Wilson in the back with the prongs of the taser. 

Woods says officers were able to place Wilson into handcuffs. Officers reported locating a brown 16-inch wooden club between the center console and the driver's seat.

Authorities say they also found a cell phone with a cracked screen on the ground outside Wilson's vehicle.

Woods reported that Wilson said he needed EMS in reference to the tasing. According to Woods, when the North Charleston Fire Department arrived on scene to treat Wilson, Wilson refused treatment and would not get out of Woods' patrol car.

Authorities charged Wilson with third-offense driving under suspension, resisting arrest and unlawful equipment.

Copyright 2015 WCSC. All rights reserved.