Image: Michael Slager, center, at the Charleston County Courthouse. AP / Mic Smith

A former South Carolina police officer whose trial ended in a mistrial after murdering a Black motorist will go on trial for a second time on Mar. 1, CNN reports.

Michael Slager, who is accused of fatally shooting 50-year-old Walter Scott in April 2015, committed one of a string of fatal police shootings of African-Americans that fueled national protests.

A state judge declared a mistrial in the case on Dec. 5 after jurors failed to reach a verdict following 22 hours of deliberation.

The jurors, 11 White people and 1 Black person, were deadlocked several times after the trial that lasted for five weeks.

Judge Clifton Newman had allowed the jury to consider the lesser offense of voluntary manslaughter, meaning the killing happened in the heat of passion. That charge carries a potential sentence of up to 30 years in prison. He also offered for jurors to consider a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

In a note, one juror said he couldn’t vote for a conviction and would not change his mind. Prosecutors claimed Scott ran after Slager stopped his car for a broken taillight because he fearing going to jail. Scott had a warrant for unpaid child support.

Video footage shows Slager pursuing and fatally wounding Scott even though his life was not in danger, prosecutors said.
During his testimony, Slager argued that he caught up with Scott and they scuffled before the shooting. He claimed Scott was stronger than him and wrestled away his Taser, briefly pointing it at him before running.
Slager said that even at 18 feet away, Scott posed a threat to him. Prosecutors contended there was little physical evidence of a struggle.
There are no degrees to a murder charge in South Carolina. If convicted, Slager faces 30 years to life in prison.

The post Cop Who Killed Walter Scott to Get Retrial appeared first on EBONY.

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