Big Law firms’ anonymous internet postings about clients, cases and legal opposition. Part 1 in a new series.

Miller Thomson Computer Crime SAN

“Let’s start with Miller Thomson LLP’s anonymous Internet postings about the National Hockey League Players Association and work up from there.”

Is it ethical for lawyers to anonymously post on the Internet about their cases, clients and legal opponents?

by Donald Best

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Since at least 2004, personnel from Miller Thomson LLP’s Toronto law office made dozens of anonymous Internet postings on Wikipedia.org and other websites; about clients, opponents and others involved in ongoing legal matters. I’ve also discovered that some other Big Law firms similarly made anonymous postings over the years.

But before the public calls upon the Law Society of Upper Canada to investigate, we had better ask “Who will watch the watchmen?”

As an example, my investigations show that in 2009 personnel from the law society themselves posted anonymously on Wikipedia.org about then Osgoode law student Wendy Babcock, a former Toronto sex-worker and political organizer. Babcock later committed suicide in 2011.

This extraordinary information is easily confirmed online by anyone with Internet access.

You’ll be able to confirm everything for yourself after reading this and other articles in the series. (So will investigators from the Law Society of Upper Canada; not that LSUC takes any action against BIG LAW firms like Miller Thomson LLP, but that is a separate issue.)

National Hockey League Players Association

Personnel from Miller Thomson’s Toronto law office anonymously posted on the Internet about the National Hockey League Players Association, former NHLPA Executive Director Bob Goodenow and then NHLPA associate counsel Ian Pulver.

These anonymous Internet postings appear to have been made at a time when Miller Thomson LLP either represented some of the subjects of the articles, or represented other clients in existing and/or potential legal proceedings or negotiations involving the subjects.

Over the years, Miller Thomson law office personnel also made many other anonymous Internet postings about persons and entities involved in legal actions, negotiations and labour disputes. Although their motives are not always apparent, one thing that is clear is that Miller Thomson personnel chose to make these Internet postings anonymously instead of using their real names or attributing the postings to Miller Thomson.

Are MIller Thomson’s actions ethical? Do their actions contravene any rules of the Law Society of Upper Canada?

Lawyers and other law firm personnel deal with privileged, confidential and intimately private information daily. That these same lawyers and staff would anonymously post information online about their clients, cases and legal opponents should be of grave concern to the legal profession and governing bodies because it tends to undermine public confidence in lawyers and thus in the justice system itself.

Forensic investigations revealed the truth about this little-known activity by law firm personnel. Other Big Law firms have been up to the same thing: a coming article in the series will consider anonymous Internet postings by Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP and some other BIG LAW firms.

Are lawyers and law office personnel allowed to make anonymous Internet postings about their legal cases, clients and opponents?

To the ordinary Canadian, the Rules of Professional Conduct as posted on the website of the Law Society of Upper Canada appear to be so general and vague as to be almost useless as a guide in some of the incidents documented in this series. Other incidents I present in this new series are, however, obviously in violation of the LSUC Rules and of various Federal and Provincial laws as well.

Perhaps some lawyers out there might be able to comment after reading this article and others in the series.

I have identified a number of different types of anonymous internet activities that Miller Thomson and some other Canadian lawyers, law firms and legal personnel appear to be engaged in. In order of increasingly serious conduct:

  1. Anonymously changing the online public record about clients, cases and legal opponents.
  2. Anonymously spreading online rumours, misinformation & discord.
  3. Serious misconduct, including anonymous online threats against opposing witnesses, harassment, posting of confidential information including Identity Information as defined in the Criminal Code.

Once again, all of these activities happen in situations where the subjects of the anonymous conduct are either legal clients or opposing entities. And, in at least three examples I’ve found, personnel from law firms made anonymous internet postings about competing law firms and lawyers.

NHLPA Logo-private

Example #1: Miller Thomson personnel anonymously changed the public internet record about Robert W. “Bob” Goodenow, Executive Director of the National Hockey League Players Association       Read more

The Sebastien Kwidzinski story: How senior partners taught a young articling lawyer to fabricate evidence and lie to the court.

Sebastien Kwidzinski & senior partners Gerald Ranking, Lorne Silver

Sebastien Kwidzinski & senior partners Gerald Ranking, Lorne Silver*

by Donald Best

by Donald Best

When Sebastien Kwidzinski arrived for work on the morning of November 17, 2009 he had no idea that by the end of the day circumstances would require him to make an ethical and legal decision; either reveal that he witnessed senior lawyers fabricating evidence and lying on the court record, or keep silent and become part of a group of Bay Street lawyers deceiving a judge with false evidence and lies.

What was a young articling student to do?

Think of the pressure to follow the lead of a senior partner who bragged of earning over a million dollars income a year. Tell the truth and you’re out; never to have a chance at a coveted Bay Street partnership. Keep the code of silence, support the team and you’re assured of achieving everything a young law student could want; an opportunity to be part of one of the most powerful legal cabals in Canada.

In Fall of 2009 Sebastien Kwidzinski was a 26-year-old fresh-faced kid working for Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP senior partner Gerald Ranking. Kwidzinski had always done well academically, graduating in 2002 at the top of his class from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario. Recounting how York University sent a team to his home with a scholarship offer, Kwidzinski told the Toronto Star in 2006 that he “followed the money” and went into the law program at York U.

While at university Sebastien Kwidzinski was active in various student associations and in 2008 took a summer job with Faskens, where he was seconded to the Ontario Securities Commission. At 25 years old he was on his way to a law career with one of Canada’s largest and most respected legal firms.

As Kwidzinski excitedly headed off to his first day of work to “follow the money” with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, I wonder if he had ever read the words published by now Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals, Robert A Katzmann:

“As large firms have grown and multiplied, despondency about the decline of law practice from its virtuous and collegial past has intensified. Within the legal profession itself, many share the sense that law has freshly descended from a noble profession infused with civic virtue to a commercial pursuit. In the most erudite and theoretically sophisticated account of decline, the dean of the Yale Law School counsels idealistic young lawyers to stay clear of large firms, because they have a “harshly economizing spirit” and “increasingly commercial culture”.

The Law Firm and the Public Good, Robert A. Katzmann, page 40 (See ‘Some Canadian lawyers are too big to jail‘.)

Kwidzinski arrested for ‘Youthful Stupid Stunt’

But then came an incident that the Toronto Police later characterized as a youthful “stupid stunt”. On November 8, 2008 Sebastien Kwidzinski, age 25, was arrested along with two other York students and charged with false message, common nuisance and mischief interfering with property after a brown paper bag reading “I AM A BOMB” was left on a bus parked at York University. This happened two days into a strike by professors and teaching assistants of CUPE 3903. Thousands of people were evacuated from the area before the bomb squad declared the ‘bomb’ to be a hoax.   Read more

Purolator Courier confirms Faskens lawyer Gerry Ranking and secretary Jeannine Ouellette lied to Justice Shaughnessy in Ontario Superior Court

Public Domain photos of Lawyer Gerald Ranking (L) and secretary Jeannine Ouellette (R)

Public Domain photos of Lawyer Gerald Ranking (L) and Ranking’s secretary Jeannine Ouellette (R)

“Purolator Courier confirms: No tracking number, no shipping documents exist. Gerald Ranking and his secretary lied to the court. This article lays out the evidence.

by Donald Best

by Donald Best

On January 15, 2010 while I was in Asia, I was convicted of civil contempt of court in absentia and sentenced to three months in prison during a hearing in Ontario Superior Court that I was unaware of. My conviction and three-month sentence were based upon provably fabricated evidence and lies told to the court by senior partners from some of Canada’s top law firms.

Amongst many other lies, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP senior partner Gerald Ranking told the court that he and his secretary couriered to me a copy of a draft court order on November 6, 2009. Then on top of that lie, Mr. Ranking and his fellow lawyer Lorne S. Silver falsely told the court that during a November 17, 2009 phone call I had ‘confessed’ to receiving the draft court order purportedly couriered to me on November 6, 2009.

Purolator Courier confirms that Gerald Ranking and his secretary did not send me the draft court order as they assured Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy of the Ontario Superior Court. Purolator Courier confirms that Gerald Ranking and his secretary lied to the court. This article lays out the evidence.

My fellow Canadians, don’t believe anything I say; just examine the evidence and judge for yourself.

Secret recording of telephone call

Public domain photo of Lorne Silver

Public domain photo of Lorne Silver

I have already shown how Faskens senior partner Gerry Ranking and Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP senior partner Lorne Silver falsely told the court that, during a November 17, 2009 telephone call with them, I admitted receiving the draft court order purportedly couriered to me on November 6, 2009. Silver and Ranking lied to the court. I said no such thing and these lying lawyers knew it then and know it now.

My secret and legally made recordings of the call prove that I did not say that I had received the purported November 6, 2009 courier package or any court order. In fact, I stated exactly the opposite over a dozen times; that I had NOT received such an order and did not receive the purported package. Nonetheless, both Ranking and Silver lied to the court in writing and orally; falsely informing Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy that I had told them during the phone call that I had received the draft court order.

Creating a second lie to support the first

Mr. Ranking and Mr. Silver were willing to lie to the court about what I said in the phone call, but their lie would be so much better if they had ‘proof’ that they did send me the draft court order they were falsely telling Justice Shaughnessy that I had ‘confessed’ to receiving.

In a very telling moment after the November 17, 2009 phone call, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP lawyer Gerald Ranking stated that his legal secretary* Jeannine Ouellette on November 17, 2009 swore an affidavit of service that on November 6, 2009 she had sent to me via Purolator Courier a draft court order of Justice Shaughnessy dated November 2, 2009.

Download a pdf of Jeannine Ouellette’s affidavit here.

Jeannine Ouellette’s affidavit was a lie. Mr. Ranking lied to the court about sending me the draft court order, and lied to the court about me ‘confessing’ to him that I had received it.   Read more

Allard Prize Winner: “Lawyers are servants in the architecture of corruption.” 

The writer with Lieutenant-General, the Honourable Roméo Dallaire.

The writer with Lieutenant-General, the Honourable Roméo Dallaire.

by Donald Best

by Donald Best

Last week I had the honour and privilege of being an invited guest at the 2015 Allard Prize for International Integrity.

The $100,000 Allard Prize is one of the world’s largest prizes dedicated to the fight against corruption and protecting human rights. The prize is administered by the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, and is awarded every two years to a person, movement or organization that demonstrates exceptional courage and leadership in combating corruption, especially through promoting transparency, accountability and Rule of Law.

Over the two days of events, I spoke for a total of several hours with the 2015 finalists, various members of the Allard Prize Committee and Advisory Board, other invited guests and the keynote speaker, Lieutenant-General, the Honourable Roméo Dallaire.

To be honest, there were times when I felt a bit like a duck out of water, to be in the presence of so many leaders and esteemed persons from Canada and around the world. I was surprised to learn that several people I spoke with were already aware of my story in some detail. A few even sought me out and introduced themselves at the various events. They had heard about how Ontario lawyers fabricated evidence and lied to the courts to convict me of contempt of court in my absence from Canada during a rushed civil hearing that I was not made aware of.

It was also interesting to hear the anti-corruption community’s focus turning from the injustice of my conviction and incarceration to a wider concern about how Ontario’s legal profession covered up and whitewashed proven corruption and criminal acts by lawyers from some of Canada’s largest and most respected law firms.

As one person commented to me,

“How could the Law Society of Upper Canada not look into a lawyer taking a million dollars for a phony company he knows doesn’t really exist?”

That was a good question, and one for which I had no answer. The one thing we do know is that the million dollars was never deposited by Faskens lawyer Gerald Ranking into any bank account in the name of his fraudulent, non-existent, phoney Barbados client ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean Firm’.

I shared a chuckle with the Attorney General for British Columbia, The Honourable Suzanne Anton Q.C., whom I did not recognize. Ms. Anton is a gracious person, and from what I heard at the reception, is a zealous advocate for integrity and ethical behaviour in the legal profession.   Read more

Why did Fasken Martineau lawyer Gerald Ranking not submit costs to the Supreme Court of Canada?

More evidence that Toronto lawyer Gerald ‘Gerry’ Ranking committed fraud upon the Supreme Court of Canada & Ontario courts

Money laundering question: Where did the million dollars go?

Faskens lawyer Gerald L Ranking

On September 4, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed my application for leave to appeal a judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. I am informed that this doesn’t mean that the SCC thought that my appeal would not succeed or that it was without merit; it simply means that the SCC selects a very few cases out of hundreds of applicants. Apparently the SCC attempts to highlight cases that it believes have national implications, and for its own reasons the court did not choose to consider my case.

That’s life. As an aside, it also means that in some twenty appearances before the courts, no court, up to and including the Supreme Court of Canada, ever listened to or chose to listen to, the voice recordings that prove big law firm lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver fabricated evidence and lied to the Superior Court of Ontario to convict me in absentia of Contempt of Civil Court, and to put me in jail.

Again, that’s life. It is my hope that someday a jury of my fellow Canadians will listen to the voice recordings during the Best vs. Ranking civil case.

I can assure my readers that unlike the legal profession, ordinary Canadians have no reluctance at all to listen to the November 17, 2009 voice recordings of my telephone call with lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Sliver, and to compare those recordings with the false evidence the lawyers provided to the courts to convict and jail me.

(Readers can listen to the recording and examine documents here.)

Why did Gerald Ranking / Fasken Martineau not submit costs?

The rules and case law of civil procedure in Ontario are fairly simple; under normal circumstances it is usual that those litigants who bring actions or motions that are denied by the court might have some liability to pay the opposition for their legal costs.

Thus, when the Supreme Court of Canada declined to consider my appeal, the court awarded $20,364.79 costs payable by me to defendant Kingsland Estates Limited.

But the court awarded no costs payable to Gerald Ranking’s purported client ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean Firm’.

As the Supreme Court of Canada said in its reasons: “The respondent, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, has not submitted a bill of costs..” (SCC Costs decision here PDF 949kb)

A fraud upon the courts explained

Toronto lawyer Gerald L Ranking

Why would Gerald Ranking and Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP law firm not submit a costs claim to the Surpreme Court of Canada as is normal? Why would Faskens and Ranking not attempt to recover costs for their purported ‘client’?

The answer is simple enough: Faskens senior lawyer Gerald Lancaster Ranking and his partners at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP knew that their purported client, ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean Firm’ does not, and did not, exist at any time. Ranking and his law firm did not want to double-down on their fraud upon the Supreme Court of Canada and have the SCC issue another cost order to what the lawyers know is a false, phoney, criminally fraudulent, non-existent ‘client’.   Read more

Law Society of Upper Canada unlikely to win the Allard Prize for International Integrity

Allard Prize Integrity

by Donald Best

by Donald Best

Lawyers have significant influence in the shaping, drafting and enforcement of policies and legislation that protect critical checks and balances necessary for a healthy society.

But who regulates and oversees the lawyers? And what happens to a society if lawyers abandon ethics and societal accountability in the pursuit of money? What happens if greed, not justice and truth, becomes the primary motivation of lawyers?

Such has been our confidence in the legal profession that, to this time, Canadians have allowed lawyers to regulate and discipline themselves without independent civilian oversight, public accountability or any real transparency. That willingness of Canadians to allow lawyers to self-regulate is changing with revelation after revelation of serious wrongdoing by lawyers and coverups by governing legal bodies.

In Ontario, the Law Society of Upper Canada has time and time again covered up or ignored criminal activities by lawyers; especially if the lawyers are associated with any of Canada’s largest law firms. The recent ‘Broken Trust‘ series of articles in the Toronto Star looks into why over 80% of Ontario lawyers who commit serious criminal offences in relation to their law practice never face criminal sanctions.

My own case (‘Donald Best v. Gerald Ranking et al’. Superior Court of Justice, Central East Region: Barrie, Court File No. 14-0815) is just one of many where Law Society of Upper Canada ignored and covered up solid evidence of criminal wrongdoing by Ontario lawyers and protected members of ‘the club’.

Evidence filed in Best vs Ranking shows that members of the large law firm club receive unhealthy deference from the Law Society of Upper Canada and other regulators in matters of misconduct and discipline.

In my case, the Law Society of Upper Canada ignored and covered up evidence of serious criminal offences by lawyers from large law firms. The law society also refused to assist me, an unrepresented litigant, to find legal counsel in a special situation where the vast majority of lawyers were too intimidated and frightened to represent me before the courts.   Read more

Judge: Hidden video and audio recordings prove Ontario police officer committed criminal acts

Durham Police Corruption-private

“I hurt people… and then I make their cocaine fuckin appear…”

Durham Regional Police Constable James Ebdon threatens violence and to plant drugs on motorcycle gang associate.

by Donald Best

by Donald Best

Durham Regional Police officer James Ebdon was caught in a hidden video / audio recording threatening to plant drugs and commit acts of violence against a member of the public. (You can watch and listen to the hidden recording at YouTube)

Some people might be inclined to excuse or ignore the incident because the officer threatened an associate of Hell’s Angel motorcycle gang member Harley Guindon. We cannot let the fact that the police officer was threatening a criminal associate to allay our personal and societal fear of such behaviour by police. Fabrication of evidence and perjury by police is a very dangerous and slippery slope, indeed.

In her decision, Ontario Superior Court Justice Laura Bird wrote:

“The evidence establishes that Constable Ebdon committed several criminal offences in the course of his duties. He has no appreciation for the seriousness of his conduct and continues to patrol the streets of Durham. Conduct such as that exhibited by this officer has no place in our society and it must be condemned by the court.”

Quoted in the The Star

Once police or lawyers fabricate evidence and lie to the court, where does it stop?

It is true that many law enforcement officers have at one time or another (even if for only an instant) thought of planting or fabricating evidence to take down gang members or other serious criminals.

I know from my experience as a Toronto Police sergeant and internal investigator that a number of factors stop police officers from fabricating evidence or committing crimes to obtain evidence: commitment to our justice system, personal values and character, risk of getting caught and the high penalties if they are caught.

Justice Bird knows that allowing, excusing or ignoring this criminal behaviour by police officers will undermine our justice system, and so Her Honour correctly condemned the officer using the most robust language.

Ontario’s legal community soundly condemns police officers who perjure themselves before the courts, but it seems that a different standard applies to lawyers.

But what if, as in my personal case, recordings prove that Lorne Silver and Gerald Ranking (senior lawyers from two of Canada’s largest law firms) fabricated evidence and lied to the court to obtain my ‘in absentia’ conviction for contempt of court; but the courts refuse to listen to the recordings?   Read more

Body cameras only a part of the solution to re-building trust in the police

police-body-video-camera

by Donald Best

by Donald Best

The Toronto Police recently announced a one-year $500,000 pilot project to outfit 100 officers with body cameras to record investigations and dealings with the public. At first look, $5,000 per officer seems outrageous until we consider that this is a pilot study with many facets of which the physical equipment comprises only a small portion of the budget. Online research shows dedicated police body cams starting at only US$199, but the data storage and management costs typically exceed the cost of the equipment by many times per year. The costs to outfit every Toronto officer would be many millions initially, with significant ongoing costs annually.

Nonetheless, the cost/benefit ratio to both the police and Canadians in general will, I strongly believe, fall on the side of implementing the system for every police officer in contact with the public or involved in conducting investigations.

As a former Toronto Police sergeant and undercover investigator of organized crime, I know that the simple knowledge that events are being recorded has a profoundly positive effect upon the behaviours of both police officers and citizens. Even the possibility of hidden recordings due to the universal presence of cell phone videocams is already having an impact upon officer behaviour, to the benefit of all concerned.

I have often relied upon hidden audio and video recordings because they present to the court and everyone the irrefutable truth. Such recordings are only a part of the evidence and have their own limitations, but at least they deter any liars on all sides from fabricating evidence and narratives out of thin air: or expose them after they have done so as more than a few rogue police officers in Canada and the USA have discovered lately.

Other citizens commented on a recent Globe and Mail editorial praising the Toronto Police initiative, that the real test of the police body cameras will be in whether the police and justice system actually use the video recordings to hold police officers accountable for serious wrongdoing.

Time for independent civilian oversight of Ontario’s lawyers?

At least with the police, there is independent civilian oversight on several levels as well as the efforts of the media and hardworking lawyers to try to ensure justice is done and also seen to be done. Not so with Ontario’s legal profession though.   Read more

RCMP and Crown prosecutors illegally distribute Senator Mike Duffy’s email password to the public

In the Duffy case, the RCMP and Crown prosecutor committed a criminal offence under section 402.2(2)

A cynic might say that the corruption trial of suspended Senator Mike Duffy has produced no surprises, but that does not do justice to most ordinary Canadians who, despite all the standard jokes about politicians, expect and demand that laws, rules and standards should apply equally to all; including to those in positions of power and authority such as police, lawyers and Crown prosecutors.

As Ezra Levant points out in the above video, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Crown prosecutors released to the public, an unredacted version of Senator Duffy’s personal diary; including intimate communications with his wife, personal medical details and some of Senator Duffy’s Identity Information (as defined in the Criminal Code), including his email password.

Notwithstanding how disgusting it is that Canada’s national police agency and Crown prosecutors should have engaged in an act that is so obviously designed to embarrass and punish Mr. Duffy and his close family members, the release of Mr. Duffy’s email password is a criminal act, specifically prohibited by law in Canada. The fact that the reckless distribution happened in court documents is no excuse in law. Some would say the abuse of the court process makes the act even more reprehensible.

Best v Ranking civil lawsuit alleges prosecuting lawyers recklessly distributed to the public tens of thousands of documents containing Identity Information

As terrible as the actions of the police and the Crown are in the Duffy case, the amount of Identity Information illegally distributed pales in comparison with another case currently before the Ontario Superior Court.

In the Donald Best vs Gerald Ranking civil case, the plaintiff Donald Best alleges that defendants Gerald Ranking, Paul Schabas, Lorne Silver and others deliberately released and recklessly distributed to the public tens of thousands of unredacted privileged legal documents containing vast amounts of Identity Information and other personal and confidential information for Mr. Best, his family members and dozens of other persons who had nothing to do with the case before the courts.

In his March 31, 2015 affidavit asking the court to issue an injunction against the defendants, Mr. Best alleges:

“The defendants previously placed into the public domain, and recklessly distributed, tens of thousands of documents containing Identity Information and other private, confidential information for me, my family members and my company’s witnesses; and also for dozens and dozens of persons and entities who have nothing to do with me or my case.

As just one egregious example of thousands, defendants unlawfully took from the Orillia, Ontario law office of my company’s lawyers, the medical file of my lawyer’s dying mother, including end-of-life ‘do not resuscitate’ instructions to medical staff. The defendants and their ‘John Doe’ co-conspirators recklessly distributed this to members of the public, published it on the internet, and then filed it as ‘evidence’ with the court without notifying the judge. The defendants and their co-conspirators are still recklessly distributing this medical file in 2015. The defendants refuse to stop.”

Further, Mr. Best states:  Read more

Former police officer Donald Best analyzes the Walter Scott shooting raw video (#walterscott)

Citizen’s video prevented police cover-up of Walter Scott murder

By now you have probably seen the citizen video showing South Carolina police officer Michael T. Slager firing eight shots at the back of an unarmed man running from him. The victim, Walter Scott, age 50, died after being hit five times including once through his heart. Officer Slager is charged with his murder. (New York Times article with slow motion video)

According to the initial news accounts Walter Scott had been stopped for a burned out taillight but faced arrest for contempt of court for failing to pay child support. Whatever confrontation happened prior to the video is unclear, and at the immediate beginning of the video it looks like Scott or the officer could have dropped an object on the ground in front of the officer (said by some to be the officer’s Taser). There is also a second object that bounces on the ground behind the officer at about the time he is drawing his pistol.

What is clear from the video though is that Scott was running away from the officer, and was about 25 feet / 7 meters away when the police officer fired the first shot into his back. Scott kept running and the distance increased as Officer Slager fired off another quick six shots at Scott’s back. Then as Scott staggered, Officer Slager paused, took careful aim and fired a final controlled shot into Scott’s back. I wonder if that was the shot that pierced Scott’s heart because he went down immediately.

Police Officer does not behave as if he is fearful of Scott

Scott goes down grabbing his mid left side and only then does Officer Slager walk over and handcuff him. As he walks, the officer is not pointing his weapon at Scott and thus is not in fear of his life at that point. That is not the normal action of a police officer who believes a person might be armed. Even if an armed suspect has been shot eight times, any police officer would keep aiming at the suspect until the weapon had been retrieved and the suspect secured. That seems to indicate that Slager did not believe Scott had a weapon when he shot him.   Read more

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