The former South Carolina Police Officer Michael Slager who was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of an unarmed motorist was temporarily freed on Monday after a mistrial was declared in his murder trial by the judge. Apparently, the jury that heard the case was not able to come to a unanimous decision on the verdict.
It was reported that 11 out of 12 jurors had voted to convict Slager of either manslaughter or murder. Only one lone juror voted not guilty and they claimed that they wouldn’t change their mind about it, despite the judge giving the jurors extra time to deliberate with the hope that a unanimous decision could be made. However, it didn’t turn out this way and so the judge declared that it was a mistrial. This comes after a one month long murder trial.
Mistrials are usually rare in murder cases and judges sure don’t like declaring them because it means all the time and money spent on the trial was for nothing. It also means that Slager is most likely going to face another murder trial with an entirely new jury. He also faces federal criminal charges related to civil rights violations of the black victim, Walter Scott.
This police shooting is just one of several controversial police shootings that have happened in the United States over the last few years. But what makes the Slager case stand out more is the fact that a cell phone video was recorded of the entire shooting. It shows Walter Scott running away from Slager, and then Slager takes out his pistol and shoots Scott in the back as he’s running away from him. Scott claimed he feared for his life, but it is kind of hard to believe when you see the video of Scott running away from him.