Former Officer Who Killed Walter Scott Indicted On Murder Charges
Michael Slager, the former South Carolina police officer, who was filmed shooting Walter Scott in the back, was indicted by a grand jury on a murder charge.
Slager, 33, shot and killed Scott, 50, on April 4, after pulling him over for a broken tail light. He has been jailed on murder charges since April 7, when video of the incident was released to the public.
According to the New York Times, Slager’s lawyers have made no request for bail. After his termination from the North Charleston Police Department and harsh criticism from city officials, many expected today’s decision from the grand jury.
Despite the national attention that this particular shooting has received, Scarlett Wilson, a local prosecutor said she believes that they will be able to select a jury to decide this case.
If found guilty, Mr. Slager will not be sentenced to the death penalty because as Wilson puts it, none of the required “aggravating circumstances” occurred when he fired eight shots, striking Scott in the back.
Slager and Clarence Habersham, the first officer to arrive at the scene of the shooting, have also been accused of placing evidence at the scene of the crime and refusing to proved Scott with sufficient medical attention.
Slager had been involved in two formal complaints, including one for excessive force when he used his taser on a burglary suspect.
The city cleared Slager in 2013.
The New York Times obtained records showing that Slager had been involved in 19 use-of-force episodes during his tenure as a police officer. 14 of those episodes involved Slager’s use of his taser in some manner.
The only time he fired his handgun while on patrol was in the shooting of Walter Scott.