Mistrial in South Carolina Police Shooting Case Raises Questions about Racial Bias
Equal Justice Initiative
December 6, 2016

“A North Charleston jury’s failure to reach a verdict Monday in the trial of a white police officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black man was caught on video has reignited a national discussion about police violence, amid ever-present questions about the presumption of guilt and dangerousness that continues to afflict black people and how it informs police use-of-force.

“On April 4, 2015, Officer Michael Slager shot 50-year-old Walter Scott eight times in the back after Scott ran away following a brief scuffle during a routine daytime traffic stop. Scott was unarmed. Slager was later charged with murder after cellphone video footage surfaced showing that the officer had fired the shots as Scott was fleeing, contradicting his police report that he shot Scott out of self-defense in fear for his life.”

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