Once again, are we surprised? A South Carolina judge declared a mistrial in the case of Michael T. Slager, the former cop who shot a Black man, Walter Scott, in the back as he ran away in April 2015.
Reports the New York Times:
Judge Clifton B. Newman’s decision to halt the proceedings came three days after jurors signaled that they were within one vote of returning a guilty verdict against Mr. Slager, who could have been convicted of either murder or voluntary manslaughter for the killing of Walter L. Scott. But jurors also sent conflicting messages on Friday about whether they could break their impasse, setting off a confused legal frenzy.
On Monday, though, the panel of 11 white people and a black man again sent word that it would not be able to reach a unanimous verdict about Mr. Slager’s conduct, prompting the mistrial ruling.
Judge Newman thanked the jurors for their efforts.
Prosecutors had signaled before the ruling that they expect to bring the case again, but there is a possibility that the indictment could be resolved through a plea agreement.
The disturbing video clearly showed Slager shooting down Scott after a traffic stop. Slager said he feared for his life, yet Scott was running away and shot in the back.
This is just another example of why so many Black people don’t, and just can’t, trust the justice system. It’s why we say Black Lives Matter, TOO (if you just don’t get it).
Prosecutors may retry the case or settle for a plea deal. In late 2015, Scott’s family was awarded 6.5M in a settlement with the city of North Charleston.
Photo: North Charleston PD