Michael Slager, the former North Carolina police officer who shot and killed Walter Scott, has been denied in his request for bail.
Circuit Judge Clifton Newman decided to keep Slager off the streets, despite “persuasive” evidence presented by his attorneys. In a video recorded on a bystander’s cell phone in April, Slager can be seen shooting 50-year-old Scott in the back as he runs away from the officer.
Judge Newman stated in a written order:
“After careful consideration of all of the evidence presented and the nature and circumstances of the offense. The court finds that release of Defendant would constitute an unreasonable danger to the community.”
Slager’s request included his need to be home with his newborn son, but the Scott family emotionally pleaded with the judge to keep Slager jailed in honor of their deceased loved one, according to The Post and Courier.
Says James Johnson, a leader in the National Action Network in South Carolina:
“I think it’s a good day in South Carolina. Slager talks about wanting to see his son, but Mrs. Scott can’t see her son anymore.”
Activists in support of Slager’s imprisonment had been vocal about their stance. Judge Newman said his choice was not based off pressure from protesters, but that he arrived at the decision after hearing Slager’s interview with investigators.
Slager’s account of what happened during the shooting conflicted with video footage. During questioning, the former officer stated that Scott was turning his back to him when he shot his gun. Slager’s attorney spoke for his client, claiming he was “getting confused.”
After the interruption, Slager continued on, saying that after Scott continued to approach him, he “just started shooting.”
On Monday night, Slager’s defense attorney Andy Savage issued a statement:
“We share Michael’s disappointment in today’s Court decision but remain firmly convinced that following a review of all the evidence, a jury of Michael’s peers will find that he was free of any criminal intent in his actions on April 4, 2015.”
Slager’s trial is scheduled for next year.
SOURCES: The Post and Courier | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
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