The case of a former South Carolina police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist is now before the jury. Michael Slager, who is white, shot 50-year-old Walter Scott during a traffic stop last year in North Charleston. The judge told jurors they can acquit Slager, convict him of murder or convict him of voluntary manslaughter.
A prosecutor has told jurors in South Carolina that even if Scott resisted arrest, that didn’t give Slager the right to kill the black man who was running from a traffic stop last year. In closing arguments today, she said Slager is guilty of murder because there had to be malice in his mind as he shot Scott repeatedly in the back. But she added that if jurors decide to consider manslaughter instead, Slager is guilty of that as well. A defense lawyer told the jury that Slager was “in fear for his life.”