Brother of unarmed man shot in South Carolina: Officer’s indictment a ‘victory for the family’

The brother of an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by a white South Carolina police officer says the murder indictment against Michael Slager is a small step on the road to justice.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The brother of an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by a white South Carolina police officer says the murder indictment against Michael Slager is a small step on the road to justice.

“It’s a good victory for the family,” Anthony Scott said during an interview broadcast on the NBC “Today” show Tuesday. “We’re taking baby steps, but we know it’s all to get to one point, and that’s to get the justice for my brother.”

A Charleston County grand jury on Monday found enough evidence to prosecute Slager, a former North Charleston police officer, on a murder charge. His shooting of a fleeing Walter Scott following a traffic stop on April 4 was recorded on a bystander’s cellphone.

Anthony Scott said during the interview that justice for the family is a murder charge, a guilty verdict and a life sentence for Slager.

Slager, 33, faces 30 years to life in prison without parole if convicted. The death penalty doesn’t apply because there are no aggravating circumstances, such as robbery or kidnapping, said prosecutor Scarlett Wilson who announced the indictment.

Wilson said no trial date has yet been sent.

“I don’t think that I’m ready for it to go into trial just yet,” Anthony Scott said in the interview. “But we’ll be ready when the time comes.”

Wilson said the murder charge requires prosecutors to prove what is referred to as “malice aforethought.” That’s a form of premeditation, but Wilson explains that it doesn’t mean Slager would have had to think about killing Scott for a certain period of time before firing. She says the state can prove it’s murder “as long as malice exists in the heart and mind at the time before and during the killing.”

Slager’s defence lawyer, Andy Savage, said he won’t comment “until we have an opportunity to fully evaluate the state’s case and to compare it with our own investigation.”

Chris Stewart, a lawyer for Scott’s family, said he plans to file a wrongful death civil suit against North Charleston, most likely by the end of July, and will keep close watch on the criminal prosecution meanwhile.

Slager has said he initially tried to stun Scott with his Taser when both men scuffled over the stun gun and he fired his handgun at Scott in self-defence.

The video shows the men briefly scuffling before Scott runs away and the officer fires at Scott’s back.

The charge against Slager is the fourth in recent months in South Carolina involving white officers shooting at unarmed black men. One ended in a mistrial in January and is set for retrial next week.

Just Posted

Despite warnings, plenty of temptations to thieves left in vehicles

Lock It or Lose It campaign still finding plenty of valuables left in plain sight

WATCH: Notley invites central Albertans to “team up” with New Democrats for equitable, prosperous future

NDP leader lashes out against her rival, Jason Kenney, calling him a cheater

Red Deer sees highest rate of fentanyl deaths

47 fentanyl-related deaths in 2018

Why Solar: Canada needs to get its collective house in order

Canada needs to get a grip. The country has one of the… Continue reading

Gardening: Take care when making plant purchases

After a cold February, the longer sunny days and warmer weather triggers… Continue reading

Canadian pair fifth after short program at figure skating worlds

SAITAMA, Japan — Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro are fifth after… Continue reading

Director Kim Nguyen tackles financial ‘madness’ in ‘The Hummingbird Project’

TORONTO — As Quebec filmmaker Kim Nguyen tells it, “The Hummingbird Project”… Continue reading

What Disney gets as its $71.3B buy of Fox assets closes

It’s finally complete. Disney closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment… Continue reading

Opinion: Let’s be heard ‘loud and clear’ during provincial election campaign

By David Marsden During the banquet for Sunday’s Boston Bruins alumni game,… Continue reading

Documentary on Colten Boushie case to open Toronto’s Hot Docs festival

TORONTO — A film examining the case of a young Indigenous man… Continue reading

Most Read