One African American man on jury in Michael Slager trial


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — A jury is set in the trial of a former South Carolina policeman charged with murder in last year’s shooting death of an unarmed black motorist.

The jury consists of, six white men; five white women, and one black man.

The alternates consist of  two white men, two white women, and two black women.

Before the jury was set there was a challenge by Solicitor’s office.  The prosecution said they believe the defense’s strikes were racially motivated.

The defense responded by listing the reasons for their strikes. The defense used nine of 11 strikes.  Seven of those strikes were against minorities.

Reasons for strikes:

Juror #431- inadequate English skills

Juror #209 – made anti-gun sentiments; the person worries about too much time away from job and income; difficult time understanding legal jargon

Juror  #460 – answered written question incompletely

Juror  #174 – works at MUSC and is colleague of the medical examiner

Juror  #43 – member of program for struggling fathers who can’t pay child support; mentioned in City Paper story related to Walter Scott

Juror  #157 – education inadequate

Juror  #367 – inadequate English skills

After hearing the reasons, the prosecution dropped their challenge.

Jurors, who are not sworn yet, were released until 9:00 am Thursday. Once they are sworn in, opening statements and the trial will begin.

Wednesday will be spent hearing outstanding motions.

Slager, who is white, faces 30 years to life if convicted in the April 2015 shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott, who was killed as he fled a traffic stop after being pulled over for a broken taillight.

The shooting was captured by a bystander in a cellphone video. It shows Scott being shot eight times in the back.

The defense filed a motion Tuesday asking the judge to block the video from being introduced as evidence.

Slager’s attorney Andy Savage called the video “prejudicial, inflammatory and factually deficient.” He said bystander Feidin Santana took it from 137 feet away and not from the officer’s perspective. The clip is also “obscured or blurry and thus confusing,” the motion said.

The video does not show the entire fight that took place between Slager and Scott, and if it is allowed, it should not be shown in slow motion because that implies that Slager had malicious intent toward Scott, the motion said.

Savage also asked the judge to order information released about Santana, including how much he made from selling the video.

Santana’s attorney, State Rep. Todd Rutherford, argued the information was protected by attorney-client privilege. But he said he would make it available for the judge to review before deciding whether it could be released to the defense.

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