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Jurors in a Charleston, South Carolina, courtroom said Friday they were deadlocked on whether to convict a white South Carolina police officer on trial for shooting an African-American man in the back.
The video taken last year by a passerby was viewed online millions of times.
Enlarge / Michael Slager
Defense attorneys for Michael Slager, a 35-year-old North Charleston officer, called for a mistrial in the murder case, while the judge has ordered the 12-member panel to continue deliberating.
All the while, a single juror wrote a note to the presiding judge that he or she could not, “in good conscience, approve a guilty verdict.”
“You have a duty to make every reasonable effort to reach a unanimous verdict,” Judge Clifton Newman told panelists, who began hearing the case a month ago.
The jury began deliberating Wednesday.
North Charleston police had officially defended Officer Slager until the footage surfaced.
At the moment, the video doesn’t appear to be swaying all 12 jurors that the officer is guilty of murder or voluntary manslaughter.
Slager is on trial for killing Walter Scott, 50, who was pulled over in April 2015 for a routine traffic stop.
Scott, who had a warrant for his arrest, fled the scene and a chase ensued.
The officer testified that there was a brief altercation in a park over his Taser, and he shot Scott five times as he fled, out of “total fear.”
The jury was excused for the day late Friday, and is to return Monday.
Here are links to some of our previous coverage on the case.
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