Mistrial in Murder Trial of Officer Who Killed Walter Scott

By the Web Editors 12-05-2016
Image via Joe Brusky/flickr.com

A mistrial has been announced in the murder trial of the former Charleston, S.C., police officer who was recorded on video fatally shooting Walter Scott, a 50-year-old black motorist, after a traffic stop, reports the Washington Post.

On Dec. 5, Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman read aloud in court a statement from the jury.

“We as the jury regret to inform the court that despite the best efforts of all members, we are unable to come to a unanimous decision,” the statement read.

On April 4, 2015, then-Officer Michael Slager pulled Walter Scott over during a traffic stop. Moments later, the incident captured on video by a bystander, Scott is seen running away from Slager before Slager fires bullets into his back. Slager then places an object beside Scott’s body, what appears to be his Taser – which, if so, would have been in service of increasing the believability of Slager’s account of the incident, stating that Scott took his Taser from him.

Police reports after Scott’s shooting stated that Slager performed CPR on Scott. However, in the bystander’s video, Slager isn’t seen doing so after he shoots Scott. Scott lays face-down on the ground, dying.

During the murder trial, Slager said he felt “total fear that Mr. Scott was coming toward me.” Although Scott is seen on the bystander’s video running away from Slager, not toward him, a portion of the jury considered Slager’s account to be valid.

According to the Post, attorneys for the Scott family indicated the prosecutor intends to retry the case.

Read more here.

Don't Miss a Story!

Get Sojourners delivered straight to your inbox.

Have Something to Say?

Add or Read Comments on
"Mistrial in Murder Trial of Officer Who Killed Walter Scott"
Launch Comments
By commenting here, I agree to abide by the Sojourners Comment Community Covenant guidelines and acknowledge that my comment may be published in the Letters to the Editor section of Sojourners magazine.

Must Reads

Subscribe