In April of 2015, former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager was caught on video shooting a black motorist to death as he was running away from him. The victim, Walter Scott, 50, was not armed at the time and his back was facing the officer as he shot him. This sparked a national outrage over another white police officer in America shooting an unarmed black man.
The only thing is this particular case was more horrifying because the cell phone video that was captured clearly shows the officer taking out his gun as Scott was running away from him. There was no struggle or apparent fight going on between them in the video. Slager apparently just made the decision to take out his gun and shoot Scott eight times in the back. A little later after that incident, Slager was arrested for murder over what he did. Many say the cell phone video was a big reason for him getting charged.
On Tuesday, Slager’s defense attorney Andy Savage requested for the judge to ban the cell phone video from being shown during the criminal trial. In the motion he filed, Savage said the video was “prejudicial, inflammatory, and factually deficient.” Savage claimed Feidin Santana, who was the bystander that recorded the video, was 137 feet from the incident. Since there was no video from Slager’s perspective, Savage believes the cell phone video should be deemed inadmissible.
Right now, the court is still going through the jury pool so the attorneys can qualify the jurors. The biggest challenge for the defense attorney will be to find a juror who hasn’t seen the cell phone video, since it was broadcast to millions of people when it was released. Not only that, but it can easily be seen anytime on YouTube and other internet video websites.
If convicted, Slager faces a minimum of 30 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.