Transcript: Morning Joe Exclusive with Feidin Santana

Updated

Morning Joe, 4/9/15, 7:23 AM ET

Shooting witness: I didn't see CPR happen

Feidin Santana, the man who recorded the shooting death of South Carolina resident Walter Scott, joins Morning Joe with his attorney Todd Rutherford to discuss what he saw.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC HOST:  We’re going to bring in the man who filmed the shooting in South Carolina, Feidin Santana.  Also with us, his attorney, Todd Rutherford.  

And we were just talking to Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina.  He may jump to the conversation as well.  

TODD RUTHERFORD, FEIDIN SANTANA’S ATTORNEY:  Good morning, guys.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Good morning.

BRZEZINSKI:  I was listening to your counts of this.  And what I found chilling was the moment you had in the police department where you went in there and you were hoping maybe to turn the video over.  Can we start there and then go backwards?  What happened inside the police department?

FEIDIN SANTANA, FILMED POLICE SHOOTING:  Well, it’s something that I was explaining to Todd.  When I did that, that information, I told the interviewers that –

MIKE BARNICLE, MSNBC HOST:  What day was this?  

RUTHERFORD:  Well, he didn’t really go to the police department.  He talked to the police immediately after the shooting.  But it was nothing but North Charleston police all in uniform, so he got afraid and that’s when he left.  The second interview with the police was with a SLED agent, so those that –  

BRZEZINSKI:  OK, so this is important.  So the interaction with the police officers maybe not at the department?

RUTHERFORD:  That’s correct.

BRZEZINSKI:  But you went up to them and said everything appears wrong on the police report.  I have video of this.  What did they say to you?  

SANTANA:  Well, like I say, it was packed there with police officers.  And people started coming to the scene to see what was going on.  And like I say, I know what I saw, that them didn’t say it.  So I just expressed myself to them.  I said I saw the news (ph) and I witnessed with my eyes had I had a videotape to show.  

BRZEZINSKI:  When you told them you had the videotape, what did they say?  

SANTANA:  One of the cops said to wait over there.  And I realized that that would be something no good and so I just run to my job.  And from there, I just call a friend of mine.  He showed up at the barbershop to get service.  He’s a very good friend of mine.  Like I say, I feel that I needed to talk to someone about it.  And when I show him, he said this is not good.  

BRZEZINSKI:  Was it good he left?  

RUTHERFORD:  It was good he left.  He was surrounded by officers who have continuously lied about what happened.  They say they performed CPR on a dying man.  They didn’t.  His video is going to get a lot of people in trouble.

WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC HOST:  I was going to ask you about that.  A couple things, actually.  But there is a little gap in tape when they say they performed CPR.  Did you see any officer ever perform CPR on Mr. Scott?  

SANTANA:  The only I witnessed is taking his - first, they take his pulse.  And he – one of the officers lift his shirt off to check maybe the wound of the bullet in the body.  

GEIST:  But they never tried to resuscitate him, to bring him back to life?  

SANTANA:  No, I never saw that.  Maybe after I left.  But I never saw that.  

BRZEZINSKI:  They didn’t see you taking this video, did they?  Were you –

SANTANA:  They did.

RUTHERFORD:  They did.

BRZEZINSKI:  They did?  OK.

BARNICLE:  Walk us through the morning.  You’re on your way to where?  You’re with your phone obviously.  Walk us through.  

SANTANA:  Well, that’s my everyday routine.  I live close to the scene.  I used to live close from there.  And I was heading to my work, to my job.  I’m a barber and I work in a barbershop near there, so it’s easy for me to just go and walk.  

BARNICLE:  So you are walking along –

SANTANA:  Yes.  

BARNICLE:  What attracts your attention? What attracts you?

SANTANA:  First, it was the persecution (ph) I saw.  Mr. Scott running on the same street I’m walking to my job and after that I saw just the officer chasing him.  That’s what I saw.  And I knew they were going to an empty, a very empty spot over there where - usually, like I said, I know it very well because I walk through there every single day.  And I just decided to chase him to see what was going to happen.  

BARNICLE:  Was the officer running as well as Mr. Scott running?  

SANTANA:  Yes.  

BARNICLE:  Did you see the officer tase Mr. Scott?  

SANTANA:  Yes.  

BARNICLE:  Where did he tase him?  At that point where the video begins?  

SANTANA:  No, way before that.  Before that, I was hearing the taser sound and, like I say, the yelling of Mr. Scott.  And that’s when I decided to start recording.  

BRZEZINSKI:  So Congressman Jim Clyburn in Washington has a question for you.  Congressman Clyburn, go ahead.  

REP. JIM CLYBURN (D), SOUTH CAROLINA:  Thank you, Mika.  I wanted to ask about the taser.  It is my understanding that a taser gun, once fired, it cannot be fired again without a lot of work being done.  So, if the gun was already fired, it would be of no use to Mr. Scott if he had grabbed it.  So, am I right that he had already fired the taser gun before Mr. Scott ran away?  

SANTANA:  Yes, yes.  You’re right.  That was a –

CLYBURN:  So it seems -

BRZEZINSKI:  Go ahead, Congressman Clyburn.  

CLYBURN:  So it would seem to me, if he had fired the taser gun, then maybe Mr. Scott didn’t know that he couldn’t be fired on again so he’s now running away.  He doesn’t have anything in his hand.  And it would seem to me that this whole question about the taser is not relevant to this at all.  

RUTHERFORD:  That’s right.  And one of the things that Feidin would say is that he heard officer yelling stop times before he tased him.  But after he tased him and Mr. Scott got up and was running, he never heard the officer yell stop.  The officer leveled his gun and fired eight times.  

BARNICLE:  Let’s get back to the sequence, where the video begins.  Is there any video prior to what we have seen?  Do you have video prior to when we begin seeing this video?  I mean, did you shoot anything - did you shoot anything of the tasing, anything of the chase?  

SANTANA:  No.  

BARNICLE:  So it begins there.  What we see where the death incident begins.  

SANTANA:  Yes.

BARNICLE:  No, but you personally, tell us – tell us all about what was going through your mind.  I mean, you’ve just seen a police officer firing shots here.  

SANTANA:  Well, I guess it’s something very tragic, I would say, for the three lost - for the three families that lost in this case, Mr. Scott, the police officer, and including me.  Like I say to Todd, my life has changed in a matter of second.  My family’s afraid what’s going to happen next with me. I’m afraid too of what can happen.  But I guess I feel that what I did is just, you know, look for justice in this case.  

BRZEZINSKI:  There is a second cop in the video.  Did he seem like he was concerned?  I feel like he saw something being dropped at the body.  Were they talking at all?  Could you see anything that we didn’t see in the video?  

SANTANA:  No.  I just now find out that he dropped the – I believe it was the taser, after, like I say, after the SLED officers took the video.

GEIST:  The first thing that struck a lot of us after the horror of watching a man get shot was your courage to stay with it.  I think a lot of us would have said I don’t want to be a part of this.  I just saw a cop who is obviously hot right now and still has a weapon in his hand.  I don’t know what he’s going to do to me.  I don’t know that I would’ve continued to confront the officers with the video.  What was the level of fear going through you at that moment?  

SANTANA:  I don’t know what happened to me, I’ll be honest.  Like I say, I’m a believer of God.  I can say, you know, maybe He put me there for some reason.  I don’t know.  Just my fear just got away from me.  I try to act like a reporter or something, just trying to get on the scene.  

GEIST:  It’s called courage.  

BARNICLE:  Did any of the police officers say anything to you when you were at the extended end of that fence, when the other officers arrived?  You continued on your way to work, I assume.  Did anybody say anything to you while you were in the vicinity of the crime scene?  

SANTANA:  Well, like I said before, just one of them they said to back up a little bit because there were some police officers who – that were going to be on the scene.  And, like I say, the one who asked me about the tape, who asked about the tape.

BRZEZINSKI:  Told you to wait and you said, I’ll see you later.  

All right, Feidin Santana and Todd Rutherford, thank you very much for sharing your story here.  

GEIST:  Appreciate it.  

BRZEZINSKI:  Wow, what an incredible thing that you’ve done.  Congressman Jim Clyburn, thank you as well.  Appreciate having you on.  Please come back.  

Transcript: Morning Joe Exclusive with Feidin Santana

Updated