The man who filmed a North Charleston police officer fatally shooting Walter Scott now plans to charge news outlets $10,000 for the video.
Feidin Santana was a bystander when he filmed Scott running from Officer Michael Slager on April 4 and ultimately being shot to death. The video was widely shared and helped catapult the shooting onto the national stage.
The New York Times reported Thursday that Santana will now charge news organizations $10,000 for the video. The Times described the fee as a "surprise" to Santana, and quoted his lawyers as saying "the search for justice is served by turning the video over to law enforcement."
Publicist Max Markson, of Australia–based Markson Sparks, told BuzzFeed News late Thursday that he sent out cease-and-desist letters to major print and broadcast media organizations worldwide within the last 48 hours.
"Fair usage for video exists and networks can still use it for a certain amount of time," Markson further explained, "like with footage from the Olympics, but the fair usage fee is for people who want to use it again. And in the lead-up to the trial we expect there will be more requests for licensing."
Markson did not specify which agencies received the letters, though The New York Times reported that it had not received one. BuzzFeed News has embedded a version of the video that was posted by The Post and Courier, and that was still available late Thursday.
Santana's lawyers previously set up a crowdfunding site, which as of Thursday had raised more than $6,000. The site states that donations will be used to buy Santana a car to travel to and from work.
Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Jim Dalrymple II at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
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