WASHINGTON -- Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Wednesday that, in the wake of a video showing a South Carolina police officer fatally shooting an unarmed black man, young people should keep their cameras turned on police.
"I've advised young people, keep your cell phones tuned up. Keep the battery charged. And don't hesitate to turn them on when you see things happening that's unbecoming or you think may cross the line," Clyburn said in an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.
"I think that we are going to have to do more of this, because I think that's what it's going to take for police officers to really think twice before pulling their weapons," he said.
Clyburn's comments come days after Officer Michael Slager shot 50-year-old Walter Scott eight times as Scott fled the scene after a minor traffic violation. Slager maintained that Scott stole his Taser and that he acted in self-defense. But when a video of the incident surfaced Tuesday, it showed Scott unarmed and running away, and Slager planting a Taser near his body after he shot him.
Slager has since been fired and charged with murder, and the FBI is investigating.
Clyburn, who is the House Assistant Democratic leader and who is also black, said Wednesday he was saddened by the incident, but not surprised.
"Why pull out your service revolver and start shooting? I mean, eight times?" he asked. "I think that a climate has been created in the country … I get nasty little letters telling me about playing the race card. Well, I'm not playing the race card. I think what is happening in too many of these instances, that these perpetrators are playing the race card. We're just responding to what they're doing."
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