Nothing to See Here, Move Along

We have a hung jury and a mistrial in the murder prosecution of Michael Slager because, it seems, that one of the Jurors could not bring themselves to vote to convict a white officer shooting a black man ……… ever:

A jury deadlocked Monday in the case of a former South Carolina police officer charged with murder after he was recorded on video last year firing a barrage of bullets at the back of Walter Scott, a fleeing driver, in one of the most high-profile shootings to rattle the nation in recent years.

“We as the jury regret to inform the court that despite the best efforts of all members, we are unable to come to a unanimous decision,” the jury wrote in a note that Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman read aloud in the courtroom.

Newman declared a mistrial shortly before 3:40 p.m. and thanked the jurors for their “hard work in trying to reach a unanimous verdict in this case.” Prosecutors as well as attorneys for Michael Slager, the former officer, also thanked the jurors for their effort in the case. Several jurors wiped tears from their eyes as Newman made his announcement following more than 20 hours of deliberations.

It was the second time in a matter of weeks that a mistrial was declared in a case involving an officer charged with murder after being recorded shooting someone, following a similar outcome in Ohio last month. Prosecutors in South Carolina, echoing their counterparts in Ohio, vowed to seek another trial for Slager.


“I was scared,” Slager said during the trial, holding back tears. He described feeling “total fear that Mr. Scott was coming toward me.”

The video showed Scott’s back to the officer as he fired the fatal shots. Slager said that while he tried to subdue Scott, the driver had grabbed the Taser during a struggle over the device.


In the footage that captured Scott’s death, Slager could be seen placing an item — his Taser — near Scott’s body after the shooting.

Slager shot Scott repeatedly in the back, and as he was lyuing on the ground dying, he dropped his taser next to the body, much in the same way that cops have, since time immemorial, carried a throw away gun to make a bad shoot look good.

Not only is it clear that shooting was unnecessary, the perp was a cop which means that he has extensive training about the use of force.

Much like a boxer can be charged with assault with a deadly weapon for punching someone, a cop needs to be held to a higher standard in their application of violence.

BTW, here is the source of my one juror comment:

The jury’s foreman, the panel’s only black member, said in a separate note that the group was mostly in agreement that Mr. Slager should be convicted: “It’s just one juror that has the issues.” The foreman also said: “That juror needs to leave. He is having issues.”

Yeah, he was having issues convicting a white man for killing a black man.

This is disgraceful.


  1. Inherent in the jury system.

    It would be nice to know what the issues were. The guy could have been just nuts.

    What will be interesting is what the defense does.

    An ethical attorney will tell his client that 11 to 1 is not a good harbigner and to plead down. The client may not accept that.

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