Bond Sought for Cop Held in Unarmed Man’s Death

     (CN) – The attorney for the former North Charleston, S.C. police officer jailed since the fatal shooting an unarmed black man during an April traffic stop, will ask that his client be released on bond on Thursday citing, among other things, the victim’s alleged drug use.
     Michael Slager, was fired after a videotape of the April 4 shooting led to his being charged with the murder of Walter Scott. He has been held in solitary confinement at the Charleston County Detention Center ever since.
     Immediately after the shooting, Slager told his superiors that he used his Taser twice on Scott after the driver ran from the traffic stop, and that he chased him into a small community park behind a row of stores when he and the fleeing man got into an altercation.
     Slager said during the tussle, Scott got hold of the Taser and pointed it at him, at which point he believed he had no choice but to draw his weapon and fire.
     However, a video shot by a passerby on his way to work showed Slager firing as many as six shots into Scott’s back as he ran away. Slager was indicted on a murder charge in June.
     On Thursday afternoon, defense attorney Andy Savage is expected to argue for Slager’s release on bail, presenting evidence ranging from still photographs extracted from the video to a medical examiner’s toxicology report that says Scott had cocaine and alcohol in his blood at the time of his death.
     Savage contends that while the video tells one story, actually retracing the sequence of events, and the geography over which they occurred – from the traffic stop itself to the final events in the park — tell a far different one.
     He contends there was far more of a struggle between the Slager and Scott than prosecutors have revealed.
     Savage is expected to allege that Scott’s DNA was found on Slager’s Taser, and that his client suffered abrasions that led to blood being on his clothing.
     The prosecution declined to comment until after Savage’s presentation.
     If convicted, Slager faces between 30 years and life in prison without the possibility of parole. No trial date has been set.
     Earlier this week, Savage filed a motion – its seventh — asking the prosecution to turn over additional information related to the case. The information sought includes a Facebook message sent to the Scott family by Feidin Santana, the young man who shot the video, and detailed information on the makeup of the grand jury that indicted Slager and the days and hours it worked.

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