Ex-SC officer indicted for murder in shooting of black man - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ex-SC officer indicted for murder in shooting of black man

Posted: Updated:
Michael Slager (Courtesy: CNN) Michael Slager (Courtesy: CNN)
By Bruce Smith

Associated Press

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A white former North Charleston police officer was indicted on a murder charge Monday in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man who was running away from the officer after a traffic stop.

The shooting April 4 was captured on video by a bystander and showed officer Michael Slager firing eight times as 50-year-old Walter Scott ran away. The shooting rekindled an ongoing national debate about the treatment of black suspects at the hands of white officers.

Slager was charged with murder by state law enforcement agents almost immediately after the video surfaced. Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson announced the indictment.

"The jury will make up its own mind after it sees the video and hears the other testimony," Wilson said of Slager's trial.

No trial date has been set.

Wilson said the state law enforcement agents had the video and could have shown it to the grand jury, but she is not sure if they did. In South Carolina, the investigating agency typically presents the case to a grand jury, not the prosecutor.

Wilson said earlier the death penalty does not seem to apply because there were no aggravating circumstances such as robbery or kidnapping as required under South Carolina law.

The 33-year-old Slager faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted. He has been jailed without bond since his arrest.

Slager told authorities that he fired his Taser at Scott as he ran, but the stun gun didn't work. Then during a scuffle over the weapon, Slager said, he shot Scott with his handgun in self-defense. The video appeared to show the men briefly scuffling in a vacant lot, but it also shows Scott clearly running away when the officer starts firing his handgun.

Family members have said Scott may have started running after the traffic stop because he was fearful of returning to jail over about $18,000 he owed in late child-support payments.

As word of the shooting spread, many feared police would close the case without taking any action against the officer. But days later, the video shot by a man walking to work surfaced, and Slager was arrested, easing tensions in the community.

The cellphone video added fuel to the national debate about race and aggressive police tactics that intensified in August with the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In that case, there was no video of the shooting and Officer Darren Wilson was not indicted.

In Baltimore, six officers were indicted in the death of Freddie Gray, who was critically injured during an arrest there and later died at a hospital.

In South Carolina, prosecutors have sought felony charges against Slager and two other officers in the past year for shooting at unarmed black men following traffic stops. Two of the men were killed, while a third was seriously injured.

None of the cases have gone to trial.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Wyoming makes rush for hyped new tech, results still virtual

    Wyoming makes rush for hyped new tech, results still virtual

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 3:13 AM EDT2018-05-23 07:13:41 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mead Gruver). In this March 8, 2018 photo Wyoming state Rep. Tyler Lindholm poses next to computer servers in an office building in Cheyenne, Wyo. Lindholm was a lead proponent of several new laws that have made Wyoming friendly to the networ...(AP Photo/Mead Gruver). In this March 8, 2018 photo Wyoming state Rep. Tyler Lindholm poses next to computer servers in an office building in Cheyenne, Wyo. Lindholm was a lead proponent of several new laws that have made Wyoming friendly to the networ...
    Companies flock to register in Wyoming after bold push for hyped new technology but results remain virtual.More >>
    Companies flock to register in Wyoming after bold push for hyped new technology but results remain virtual.More >>
  • Philip Roth, fearless and celebrated author, dies at 85

    Philip Roth, fearless and celebrated author, dies at 85

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 3:13 AM EDT2018-05-23 07:13:35 GMT
    (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2008, file photo, author Philip Roth poses for a photo in the offices of his publisher, Houghton Mifflin, in New York. Roth, prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, religion and mortal...(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2008, file photo, author Philip Roth poses for a photo in the offices of his publisher, Houghton Mifflin, in New York. Roth, prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, religion and mortal...
    Philip Roth, the prize-winning novelist celebrated as a fearless narrator of sex, death, assimilation and fate, died Tuesday night at age 85.More >>
    Philip Roth, the prize-winning novelist celebrated as a fearless narrator of sex, death, assimilation and fate, died Tuesday night at age 85.More >>
  • Tens of thousands of Las Vegas casino workers OK strike

    Tens of thousands of Las Vegas casino workers OK strike

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 3:13 AM EDT2018-05-23 07:13:13 GMT
    (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken). Culinary Union members file into a university arena to vote on whether to authorize a strike Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Las Vegas.  A potential strike would affect 34 casino-hotels. A majority yes vote would not immediately aff...(AP Photo/Isaac Brekken). Culinary Union members file into a university arena to vote on whether to authorize a strike Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Las Vegas. A potential strike would affect 34 casino-hotels. A majority yes vote would not immediately aff...
    Tens of thousands of casino employees could walk off the job for the first time in more than three decades after union members voted to authorize a strike at any time starting June 1.More >>
    Tens of thousands of casino employees could walk off the job for the first time in more than three decades after union members voted to authorize a strike at any time starting June 1.More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.