Michael Slager Indicted on Civil Rights and Federal Murder Charges
On April 4, 2015, Walter Scott was stopped for a traffic violation by South Carolina police officer Michael Slager. Fifty-year old Walter ran, and Slager shot Walter 8 times in the back, killing him. A man walking by captured the event on video.
Slager made a report to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division investigator saying that he shot Walter as Walter was moving towards him with the officer’s taser. The video shows differently, and also that Slager placed his taser on the ground beside Walter’s dead body.
Slager was arrested and charged with murder. He was fired from the police force and placed in solitary confinement. In January, Slager was released on half a million dollars bail and placed under house arrest, allowed to only leave for work, church, medical appointments and appointments with attorneys.
CBS news reports that today, a federal indictment was unsealed charging Slager with murder, depriving the victim of his civil rights, obstruction of justice, and unlawful use of a weapon during the commission of a crime. The federal indictment says that Slager allegedly made the false statement to “hinder, delay and prevent the communication to a federal enforcement officer and federal judge of truthful information.”
Slager is due to appear before a judge in Charleston later today. Walter’s family said they planned to meet with reporters after the hearing.
The prosecutor in the state trial is Scarlett Wilson, who has asked that Slager’s trial be postponed until May of next year because she is also the prosecutor of Dylann Roof and has to prepare for that trial. Roof, whose trial is scheduled to begin in January 2017, is charged with the murder of 9 Black church members who were attending a Bible meeting.
North Charleston approved a $6.5 million settlement with Walter’s family. It provides annuities totaling $1 million to 3 of Walter’s 4 children. Walter’s estate will get $3 million, and 3 law firms that represented Walter’s family will divide about $2.4 million. Another $17,000 will pay Walter’s child support that he owed at the time he was killed. Walter’s family says that the child support arrears is why Walter ran from Slager.