Domenica, 04 Dicembre, 2016

Jurors in Slager trial deliberate after monthlong trial

Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager reacts to a question while testifying in his murder trial at the Charleston County court in Charleston S.C. Tuesday Nov. 29 2016. Slager is charged with murder in the shooting death last year of Wa Jurors deliberating ex-officer's fate in deadly South Carolina shooting
Rufina Vignone | 02 Dicembre, 2016, 12:08

The criminal justice system "rides on the back of law enforcement", who must be held responsible when they "mess up", a prosecutor said Wednesday during closing arguments in the trial of a white former North Charleston officer charged with shooting a black motorist as he ran away.

The shooting of 50-year-old Walter Scott five times in the back was captured on cellphone video.

Scott was shot fleeing a traffic stop in North Charleston on April 4, 2015.

Savage said Slager, who was highly regarded by supervisors and didn't have any citizens complaints against him, pulled over Scott in a routine stop. Dashcam video from Slager's cruiser shows the officer going to Scott's auto and asking for his license. Later Scott is seen bolting from his vehicle. Walter Scott's family praised the swift response. A yellow-painted asphalt road in the lot was referred to as the yellow brick road during the case.

Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, right, sits in the courtroom during his murder trial at the Charleston County court in Charleston, S.C., Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016.

Jurors in the Michael Slager murder trial will resume deliberating the fate of the white former SC patrolman charged with killing a black motorist.

The prosecution contends there was no justification for shooting Scott five times in the back as he ran. The video shot by Santana was shared so widely that of 190 potential jurors, just nine had not seen the footage.

A spokesperson for the court said food was delivered to the jury room where jurors worked straight through without taking a break.

Jurors are trying to agree on one of three options for a verdict: they can find Slager not guilty because of self-defense, or they can convict him of murder or an alternate charge of voluntary manslaughter.

The jurors saw the video a number of times, sometimes frame-by-frame.

Prosecutors urged the jury to focus on the video.

. Slager replied that at the time of the shooting he would have said the weapon was not on the ground, but that looking at the video can see that it was.

Slager testified he has not been the same since the shooting and said his mind was like spaghetti from running and chasing after Scott. The former officer testified he was in "total fear" when he shot.

Slager took the stand towards the end of the defense case, saying the shooting destroyed two families: Scott's and his own.

A guilty verdict for a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter would carry between two to 30 years behind bars.

To convict Slager of murder, the jury must conclude he had malice toward Scott.

The judge in the murder trial of a white former SC patrolman who fatally shot a black motorist says he will let the jury consider a lesser charge of manslaughter.

The shocking video added fuel to a national debate over the excessive use of force by US law enforcement against minorities in the wake of police killings of black men in cities including New York, Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri. "My family has been destroyed by this, the Scott family has been destroyed by this, it's terrible". Local leaders again called for calm as the Slager trial got underway.

With the case in the jurors' hands, only journalists have swarmed the courthouse grounds in downtown Charleston.

Savage repeated Slager's commands to Scott: "Stop, Taser, Taser, Taser", before discharging it.

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