On Monday, the murder trial began for the North Charleston, South Carolina, ex-cop who fatally shot an unarmed black man.
Michael Slager was arrested and charged with murder after he fired eight shots at Walter Scott‘s back as he fled during a traffic stop on April 4, 2015. A bystander captured the incident on their cellphone.
Via The Huffington Post:
The murder trial of a former South Carolina policeman who shot an unarmed black motorist last year opened on Monday with jury selection, putting the national spotlight back on a case that triggered national concerns about racial bias in law enforcement.
Michael Slager, a white North Charleston police officer, was arrested and charged with murder in April 2015 when a bystander’s cellphone video emerged that showed him firing eight times at the back of Walter Scott, who was fleeing from him.
About 180 potential jurors were ordered to appear for roll call on Monday at Charleston County Judicial Center for Slager’s trial, court officials said.
Prospective jurors are expected to return on Tuesday for continued questioning as attorneys for both sides seek a panel of 12 for the trial.
Slager, 34, pleaded not guilty and was released from jail on bond in earlypretrial motions, Slager’s defense lawyers said the officer was on patrol in a dangerous neighborhood when he stopped Scott, 50, for driving a car with a broken brake Scott got out of his car and ran, Slager said he chased the black man on foot and hit him with a stun gun at least twice. Defense attorneys will say Slager felt threatened when Scott grabbed the stun gun after a struggle and pointed it at the officer. The video of Scott’s death reignited a public outcry that flared after the killings of unarmed black men in Missouri, New York and elsewhere. Slager’s trial is likely to renew national scrutiny on the treatment of minority groups by law enforcement agencies across the United States.
Praying for justice for the Scott family.