Jury's Out: Walter Scott Case Gets a Hung Jury

walter scott

What happens next is still up in the air.

The Takeaway:

Yesterday, a ​mistrial was declared in the case of the former South Carolina officer who shot and killed Walter Scott.

The Longer Version of It:

Back in 2015, officer Michael Slager shot and killed Scott, an unarmed black man, after a traffic stop. Slager had said that he shot Scott because he was in "total fear" for his life after he claimed Scott of grabbing his Taser. A witness video, however, showed Slager shooting Scott in the back multiple times as Scott attempted to run away. You might remember this bit in the case, especially because it caused quite a bit of protest and anger at a time when excessive force was used in a series of police shootings of black men was being brought up. Slager was fired and charged with murder.

The trial officially ended yesterday with a hung jury. Prosecutors have declared their intention of attempting a retrial. Slager is still set to face another trial for the same case, after being accused of violating civil rights laws and misleading investigators.

The Takeaway:

It's rare that law enforcement officials are tried or charged for murder on duty. In recent years, though, there's been a nationwide call for police to be held accountable for their actions. Now more officers, like Slager. This case shows though that it's still very difficult to convict a police officer.