BREAKING: Michael Slager, Cop Who Gunned Down Fleeing Walter Scott, Indicted for Murder
Michael T. Slager, the former South Carolina cop who was captured on cellphone video shooting and killing Walter Scott has been indicted for murder by a grand jury, the New York Times reports.
Slager was fired by the North Charleston Police Department soon after the April 4 shooting and has been in jail since April 7, when he was charged with first-degree murder. His lawyers have not asked for bail.
Scarlett A. Wilson, the local prosecutor, said that the state would not be asking of the death penalty.
Slager pulled Scott over in North Charleston April 4 because of a broken taillight. During the interaction, which was captured on dashcam, Scott fled and the former officer took off after him. Scott’s family believes he ran because he may have believed Slager would find out about his outstanding child support commitments and arrest him. When Slager caught up with Scott, the two men had a brief struggle during which the ex-cop may have tasered Scott. After Scott broke away and ran, Slager pulled out his handgun and fired eight shots at Scott's back.
Several of the shots hit Scott and he died at the scene.
The whole time, a local man was recording the entire incident. He turned in the video over to Scott’s family, who soon gave it to the authorities. That video resulted in Slager's immediate firing and charge of murder. Slager, it appeared, was planning to claim self defense and that Scott grabbed his taser. The video also showed Slager dropping what appeared to be his taser next to Scott's lifeless body.
Before the incident, Slager, a former member of the Coast Guard, had two abuse complaints filed against him, including one when used a Taser against Mario Givens, a burglary suspect. North Charleston cleared Slager of wrongdoing in that case in 2013, but Givens said he would pursue civil litigation against Slager and North Charleston authorities after hearing about Scott’s shooting.
During his time as a cop, Slager was involved in 19 use-of-force episodes, at least 14 of which included the use of his Taser. His shooting of Scott was the only time he fired his handgun on patrol.