Grand Jury formally indicts South Carolina cop charged with murder of Walter Scott

The white former South Charleston police officer sacked following the fatal shooting of Walter Scott on April 4 has been formally indicted on a murder charge.

Michael Slager was charged with murder only after cell phone footage emerged of him firing eight times at Scott, an unarmed 50-year-old black man who was running away from him after a traffic stop.

‘The jury will make up its own mind after it sees the video and hears the other testimony,’ said prosecutor Scarlett Wilson who announced Slager’s indictment on Monday. No trial date has been set.

The white former South Charleston police officer sacked following the fatal shooting of Walter Scott on April 4 has been formally indicted on a murder charge.

Michael Slager was charged with murder only after cell phone footage emerged of him firing eight times at Scott, an unarmed 50-year-old black man who was running away from him after a traffic stop.

‘The jury will make up its own mind after it sees the video and hears the other testimony,’ said prosecutor Scarlett Wilson who announced Slager’s indictment on Monday. No trial date has been set.

Chris Stewart, a lawyer for Scott’s family, said in a news conference after the indictment that they plan to file a wrongful death suit against North Charleston and its police force.

‘Today was just an example of if you keep the faith, even in the darkest times, you will see the light,’ he said.

‘We are going to patiently wait for the criminal trial in this case and we are going to patiently wait to see if the city, the police department and the chief are going to take responsibility in the civil suit.’

Slager told authorities after the April 4 shooting that he fired his Taser at Scott as he ran, but the stun gun didn’t work.

Then during a scuffle over the weapon, Slager said, he shot Scott with his handgun in self-defense.

The video appears to show the two men briefly scuffle in a vacant lot, but it also shows Scott clearly running away when the officer starts firing his handgun.

Family members have said Scott may have started running after the traffic stop because he was fearful of returning to jail over about $18,000 he owed in late child-support payments.

As word of the shooting spread, many feared police would close the case without taking any action against the officer.

But days later, the video shot by a man walking to work surfaced, and Slager was arrested, easing tensions in the community.

Slager was charged with murder by state law enforcement agents and fired from the police force immediately after they viewed the video.

The shooting rekindled an ongoing national debate about the treatment of black suspects at the hands of white officers.

The cell phone video added fuel to the national debate about race and aggressive police tactics that intensified in August with the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

In that case, there was no video of the shooting and Officer Darren Wilson was not indicted.

Source: The DailyMail

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