Mistrial declared in murder trial of cop filmed shooting fleeing suspect


Note: this video contains violence.

A Charleston, South Carolina judge declared a mistrial Monday in the case of a white South Carolina police officer on trial for the video-taped shooting of Walter Scott, a 50-year-old black man. The video was secretly taken last year by a passerby, and it has been viewed online millions of times. This week, after four days of deliberations, the 12-member jury announced it was hopelessly deadlocked.

On trial is Michael Slager, a 35-year-old now-fired North Charleston officer. He’s accused of killing Scott by shooting the man in the back. Scott was pulled over in April 2015 for a routine traffic stop—a tail-light that was not working. He had a warrant for his arrest and fled the scene, prompting a chase. The officer testified that there was a brief altercation in a park over his Taser, and the cop then shot Scott five times as he fled. Slager has said he acted out of “total fear.”

The killing is yet another instance of police shooting a black man in the US. According to various watchdog sources—the Washington Post, The Guardian, and the Killed by Cops database—between 706 and 844 people have been killed by US cops during the first nine months of 2016. Of that total, the North Carolina ACLU notes there were 194 deceased black Americans.

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