South Carolina Cop Who Shot Black Man in the Back Denied Bail

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Michael Slager in booking photo
Michael Slager in booking photo

A South Carolina police officer who shot a Black man in the back while he was running away, has been denied bond, according to The Courier-Post.

Judge Clifton Newman said he needed more time to review the case before deciding whether to grant bail to Michael Slager, the North Charleston police officer charged with the murder of Walter Scott. He also said the evidence presented showed Slager might pose a flight risk.

Slager pulled Scott over for a broken taillight, a scuffle allegedly occurred and Slager ended up shooting Scott in the back as he attempted to get away. He was later fired by the North Charleston Police Department.

Scott’s brother, Anthony, said going to court was a painful experience for his family.

“We did get to see my brother’s murderer for the first time, and I felt something lifted up off of my heart,” Anthony Scott told The Courier-Post. “But it’s a painful day for the family because the wound keeps opening over and over and over again.”

Slager’s defense team has released a toxicology report which seems to be designed to either smear Scott or justify the shooting. The report showed Scott had small traces of cocaine in his system. The defense team said Slager was forced to kill Scott, who they branded as dangerous, because he thought his life was in jeopardy.

However Justin Bamberg, a lawyer for the Scott family, dismissed the findings of the report.

“It’s all smoke and mirrors,” he told USA Today. “It all comes back to the video. When the first shot is fired, Mr. Scott is unarmed, 15 or 20 feet away.”

Documents also show Slager claimed he used a Taser on Scott and had to fire his gun after Scott wrestled the Taser away and pointed it at him. Chris Stewart, another lawyer for the Scott family, said Scott would have left DNA on the Taser if he handled it and the gunpowder residue found on Scott’s hands was probably transferred from Slager after Scott was killed. He accused the defense of grasping at straws.

“[Slager] handcuffed a dead man,” Stewart said. “It’s silly that this stuff is being twisted. They have to say something. Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

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