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Michael Slager Murder Charge: Officer Who Shot Black Man in Back Indicted

Image: Michael Slager Murder Charge: Officer Who Shot Black Man in Back Indicted
(Charleston County Detention Center via Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 08 Jun 2015 02:19 PM

Michael Slager, the white police officer who was seen on video shooting a black suspect in the back in April, has been indicted on a murder charge in South Carolina.

Ninth Judicial Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said in a press conference Monday that murder was the only charge presented to the grand jury to consider, according to WCSC.

The New York Times noted that South Carolina law has only a single murder charge.

“As long as malice is proven in the heart and mind, the state has proven its case,” Wilson said.

Outside pressure has developed to remove Wilson, but she said she will not be stepping down from the case and is confident Slager will receive a fair trial, WCSC reported.

Slager allegedly shot and killed Walter Scott April 4 after the victim fled from his vehicle during a traffic stop, according to WCSC. The 33-year-old suspect was a Patrolman First Class with the North Charleston Police Department at the time.

Slager reportedly claimed he shot Scott for fear of his life after a physical altercation over Slager’s Taser in which the 50-year-old victim was unharmed.

Over the next few days, pedestrian video footage surfaced showing Slager fire eight times, hitting Scott in the back as he ran away from the officer.

“We are happy and pleased about [the indictment] right now,” Scott’s younger brother Ronald Scott said after the conference, according to The Times.

Attorney Chris Stewart said a civil suit will also be filed in the next few months, WCSC reported.

“The grand jury is a formal step, but just another step in the criminal process,” Slager’s lawyer Andrew J. Savage III said.

Two formal complaints had been issued against Slager since he joined the police force in 2010, according to the newspaper. Slager reportedly was involved in 19 use-of-force episodes as an officer, many of which involved the use of his Taser. This was the first time Slager fired his gun while on patrol.

The case has become yet another story used by critics of police conduct as peaceful demonstrations were staged following the death of Scott, an African American, according to The Times.

The charge could result in a sentence of 30 years to life in prison without parole for Slager. A trial date has not yet been set.

 


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Michael Slager, the white police officer who was seen on video shooting a black suspect in the back in April, has been indicted on a murder charge in South Carolina.
michael slager, murder, charge, officer, shooting
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2015-19-08
Monday, 08 Jun 2015 02:19 PM
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