Mistrial Declared in Murder Trial of Cop Who Shot Unarmed Black Motorist That Was Caught on Video
Former South Carolina policeman was charged with murder for the shooting death of Walter Scott.
A judge declared a mistrial Monday after a jury deadlocked in the murder trial of a white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black motorist.
Panelists told South Carolina Circuit Judge Clifton Newman they were hopelessly deadlocked after deliberating more than 22 hours in the highly publicized case.
Former North Charleston patrolman Michael Slager was charged with murder in the April 2015 shooting of Walter Scott, who was struck five times in the back as he ran from Slager.
The ex-cop fired eight rounds at Scott, 50, who ran after Slager pulled him over for a broken tail light.
A bystander caught the encounter on video, which promptly went viral amid other footage of unarmed black men being fired upon by police.
Slager was fired from the department and charged with murder.
Scott’s family said he may have run from the Slager because he feared going to jail for $18,000 in outstanding child support.
His mother, Judy Scott, said afterwards, “I’m not sad because I know justice will be served,” CBS News reported.
His brother, Anthony, said, “We’re not going to tear up this city. We’re not happy. But we’re not sad.”
Slager, 35, testified last week that he chased Scott on foot, and the two scuffled over his taser. He said he opened fire out of fear for his life.
The jury, comprised of one black and twelve whites, had deliberated over four days. Members had sent a note Friday saying one juror was unwilling to convict Slager.
But on Monday, the jurors sent another note to the judge saying most of them were now undecided.
Scott’s family said outside court Monday they have been told the case will be re-tried.
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