The white police officer and the victim involved in the shooting of an unarmed black man in South Carolina on April 4 are Coast Guard veterans, officials have confirmed.
North Charleston police officer Michael T. Slager, 33, and the unarmed black man he shot following a routine traffic stop, 50-year-old Walter L. Scott, served as junior enlisted Coast Guardsmen earlier in their lives, according to service records provided to Navy Times.
Scott had an outstanding arrest warrant for unpaid child support, officials said, and he ran away when Slager pulled him over for a busted taillight.
After handcuffing the body, Slager goes back over to the object, picks it up and then drops it near Scott's body.
"When you're wrong, you're wrong," Summey said. "When you make a bad decision, don't care if you're behind the shield or a citizen on the street, you have to live with that decision."
Personnel records show that Slager served in the Coast Guard from 2003 to 2009, last serving at Station Cape Canaveral, Florida, as an unrated fireman before his honorable discharge.
The Coast Guard is known for long wait times for "A" school, retired Capt. Jim Howe said, but six years is highly unlikely.
"It's possible he got rated and then through nonjudicial punishment or courts-martial was reduced in rate back to E-3, but that is just speculation," he said. The Coast Guard was unable to provide a full record of his dates of rank, awards and duty stations on Thursday.
It's also possible that he was on a long wait-list for "A" school and then had some sort of medical setback that kept him from professional training, Howe said.
"Very curious, if you ask me," Howe added.
The Coast Guard declined to provide further details of their service.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.