Dashcam footage of the moments immediately before the fatal police shooting of Walter Scott Jr. has been released, showing the apparently unarmed black man fleeing his car during a traffic stop.
The video, made public Thursday by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, depicts what begins as a seemingly routine pulling over.
Officer Michael Slager — who has since been charged with Scott's murder — approaches Scott's green Mercedes-Benz and explains that he has stopped the driver for a nonfunctioning brake light.
After Slager walks to the driver’s side window and asks for Scott's license and registration, Scott can be heard saying he doesn't have registration or insurance on the vehicle because he was in the process of buying the car from his neighbor.
After the brief exchange, the officer returns to his cruiser.
Shortly thereafter, Scott gets out of the car, says something inaudible in the video to Slager, who appears to order Scott to stay in his car.
Scott returns to his seat but seconds later opens the door and takes off, and Slager runs after him. The rest of the incident, including the shooting, is not seen on the dash camera video, and it was not immediately clear how much time elapsed between that video and a bystander's recording in which Slager is seen shooting at Scott's back eight times, striking him five times and killing him.
The second video played a large part of the decision to charge Slager with murder.
After the shooting, Slager said he fired his weapon because Scott had taken his stun gun and he feared for his life. But the bystander's video offers no evidence of the officer's claim.
Scott does not appear armed at any point in either of the videos, and neither video shows any physical confrontation between the men.
The incident has drawn comparison with other police killings over the past year in cities such as New York, Cleveland and Ferguson, Missouri. It has rekindled national outrage over excessive use of police force against black men.
In a separate development Thursday, civil rights leaders urged the South Carolina legislature to "stop dragging its feet" on a pending measure that would require all law enforcement officers to wear body cameras on duty.
"It will lessen the chance that any more black men will be used for target practice, as Mr. Scott was," said Dot Scott, the president of the Charleston chapter of the NAACP.
Al Jazeera and wire services