The man who recorded the fatal shooting of Walter Scott is now requesting money for his services.
The video that captured Officer Michael Slager shooting Scott while he was unarmed now carries a $10,000 per media outlet price tag.
The New York Times reports:
The video of a North Charleston police officer shooting an unarmed man in the back will now cost news outlets that want to run it $10,000, according to a publicist representing the man who shot it.
Cease-and-desist letters went out this week to news outlets around the world from Markson Sparks, a publicity and celebrity management company based in Sydney, Australia.
The video, taken April 4, showed a North Charleston police officer, Michael T. Slager, shooting a man who ran from him after a traffic stop. A bystander, Feidin Santana, took the video and then turned it over to the family of the man who was killed, Walter L. Scott.
The officer was charged with murder and remains jailed. The video, viewed more than one million times on YouTube alone, quickly came to represent the excessive use of force by the police.
The announcement about the fee seemed to come as a surprise to Mr. Santana.
He later recalled that his lawyer mentioned something about charging for it, but said he did not understand.
The lawyer, Todd Rutherford, said it was only fair for Mr. Santana to start getting paid for something that news outlets benefited from.
“The search for justice is served by turning the video over to law enforcement,” Mr. Rutherford said. The news media, he said, appeared to be in the “search for revenue.”
The Times has used the video with the family’s permission and not received a cease and desist letter.
Max Markson, chief executive of Markson Sparks, said by phone from Australia: “I think that the people who might be put off by this are the media outlets that had it for free. Now they will have to pay.”
He said the fee amount would be negotiable, although another person familiar with the negotiations who was not authorized to speak publicly said news media outlets were being charged a one-time fee of $10,000.
A lawyer for Mr. Scott’s family said the relatives remain grateful to Mr. Santana and have no problem with him receiving a financial benefit.
“Without the video, we would not be where we are right now,” said Justin Bamberg, one of the family’s lawyers.
Seriously???? Profiting off a video of a murder might be beyond sleazy…