Attorneys for Michael Slager, the disgraced former South Carolina police officer who gunned down a running Walter Scott, are stooping to an all-time low to get their client out of prison.
For starters, the defense is claiming that there was more to the four-minute video taken by a bystander that ended with Scott, 50, taking a bullet to his back.
“Maybe he was found without any weapon on him at the time that he died,” Slager’s attorney, Andy Savage, suggested to CBS News.
While no such weapon was ever retrieved, there is another factor that has sprung up in the wake of Scott’s death. The results of his toxicology report, which found traces of cocaine in his blood stream. Slager’s legal team is using that as leverage in their 150-page document to argue for his release, in a case where a simple resisting arrest incident turned into a murder charge.
Despite the craftiness of Slager’s defense, Columbia criminal defense attorney Joe Savitz pointed out to CBS the elephant room in this case, which is the setting. An apparent trigger-happy cop being released into a city already fractured with racism and murder may not be the move at this point in time.
“In a case like this, you have got the video tape, which regardless of what he says about what the tape really shows, shows him shooting a man repeatedly in the back,” Savitz stated. “It would take a very courageous judge to let him out under the circumstances. If the judge lets him out, and Charleston just goes up in flames, they’re going to blame the judge. No judge wants to be responsible for additional violence.”
The world shall get the verdict soon enough as the hearing is currently ongoing.
Photo: North Charleston Police Department