I don't think he will be convicted of murder.
It will be hard to prove malice aforethought in this instance, unless Slager knew Scott personally, and had a beef with him. If this interaction began as a legal traffic stop, and there is no prior history of interaction between the deceased and the defendant, then the only possible conviction should be on manslaughter.
The defense team will argue that Slager suffered some sort of mental breakdown (brought on by job related stress) and snapped during the course of a minor struggle with Scott. They will concede that Slager did shoot Scott in the back, and that it was not appropriate for Slager to have pursued him or to have discharged his weapon. They will also argue that there was no premeditation to murder Scott, and that Slager's employer shares in his culpability because of inadequate training and supervision. The fact that the City has already entered into a multi million dollar settlement with the Scott family is proof of that fact, from the defense standpoint.
If Slager is convicted, it will be for manslaughter.
He will likely get the minimum 2 year sentence and be out in less than a year and a half, with credit for time already served in the county lock up.
Nothing will exonerate him, including factual information or a verdict in his favor by the jury. Even a verdict that is not in his favor but not as stringent as people have decided he deserves will not exonerate him. Much like how it has already been determined by the low information crowd with no evidence that this was racially motivated, it has also been determined that he is guilty of first degree murder.
No concern will be given to the fact that he is a trained officer with different legal responsibilities than a normal person. This is especially so when he is in the middle of a violent altercation where his assailant tried to physically take weapons from him, got a hold of his tazer, fired it at the officer and then ran away dragging the tazer wires that were lodged in to the officers body.
Is he innocent? I don't know, that is for the jury to decide based on the evidence, procedures and the laws that he, as an officer, is required to follow. But maybe I could take the reverse position of the racist and idiotic points of view above that if he has an all black or democrat filled jury that he will be punished more severely than he deserves.
@BrandonFish, then shouldn't all trials focus on the facts and nothing else? Did the accused violate a law and not was he raised/treated or trained right? All that any lawyer needs to do is get one person to see things his way.
I was just as surprised as everyone in here when I saw that video for the first time. I don't know how they could just let him go when he should have maybe called for backup instead of shooting a fleeing suspect in the back. Especially after he tasered him.
I agree that people rioting over this will help nothing... However, this police officer has done great damage to our community by his "lapse of judgement" which resulted in this clearly unnecessary death in my opinion. This is such a tragedy all the way around especially since he was representing the North Charleston police department at the time. This makes everyone's life a lot harder that is just trying to serve their community working for the city.
Let's not forget that not every officer is as trigger happy with a taser as this cop was to begin with, and perhaps if someone was using excessive force with me I would try to bat the taser away as well as a natural reaction to pain.
Another question we should ask is if we should even allow tasers to be used at all by police, as this demonstrates that this particular non-lethal can escalate things quickly under the wrong circumstances (as well as cause people heart attacks).
The community under their jurisdiction is not going to forget about this anytime soon, and this makes policing that area and keeping it safe an even greater challenge for the city of North Charleston in the near future.
I don't know what to think about all this yet...It is just horrible all around for everyone in our community and I wish it never happened.
I predict the people rioting from Slager's eventual acquittal will spend more time in prison than he ever will.
Basically, it will be: "in the heat of the moment with Scott fleeing his vehicle after your lawful traffic stop, the physical struggle with Scott, Scott's attempt to take one of your weapons...did you feel your life was in danger?" and all the reasons why that could be the case.
Slager didn't shift his mindset from the dangerous situation of fighting with Scott to Scott fleeing and being a non-threat fast enough. It seems obvious to say that now. The defense will emphasize how difficult it is to make such decisions.
From what I see, a manslaughter conviction would be reasonable.
Mr. Van Hoy, if a police officer faces criminal charges, shouldn't the trial center around whether or not he is guilty of violating a law rather than whether or not he is he is following his training? If the debate is to be focused around whether or not Mr. Slager followed NCPD policies and procedures, didn't he stray from them when he left his cruiser and a passenger in Mr. Scott's car to pursue Mr. Scott on foot rather than stay with the cars and call for backup to pursue Mr. Scott? I remember hearing that in the weeks after the shooting last year.
In agreance with what John Paul Jah stated, the only reasonable defense rests in a use of force grey area.
Police officers are trained that in the event someone attempts to take their weapon they are then authorized to immediately use lethal force.
Since Scott allegedly gained or attempted to gain control of Slager's taser, that could set the precedent. As well, Savage could argue that because Scott allegedly attempted to take Slager's taser, the officer had reason to believe that Scott would make an attempt to gain control of his pistol if he tried to apprehend him again thus fearing for his life and resulting in his escalation to lethal force.
The NIJ use of force continuum is vague and highly litigious in nature affording officers maximum discretion in their actions as well as highly articulable defense in wrongful use of force situations. The answer isn't so much to change police training (as I believe they need more by the way of marksmanship and defensive tactics for the sole aim of increasing officer survivability), but a reform of the Use of Force continuum to make the justification to use deadly force much less vague.
Whoever was being paid to keep spam off your website has quit his/her desk job and is now making 95 bucks an hour spamming the shit out of you.
I obviously want to see Slager punished to the full extent of the law, but passing time will see this case further politicized and obscured. In fact, it already has. In less than a year, we've gone from NCPD throwing Slager to the wolves and treating him like a pariah to NCPD officers standing up in court in solidarity with him. In a year, this will look like a police/conservatives vs. "thugs"/liberals issue to the jurors, and we'll end up with a mistrial or a not guilty verdict due to a lack of consensus on the first degree murder charge. It's sad, but this is what happens when police training and disciplinary processes are unreformable, and critics of bad police practices are branded as anarchists, criminals, or people who don't appreciate the job that police do or should do.
“And so the question arises: Exactly what new evidence will lead a jury to draw the conclusion that Michael T. Slager is innocent of murdering Walter Scott?”
Mr. Savage will present a menu of deadly force gray area scenarios – especially of the textbook variety. So the question for the jury will be: “Did Officer Slager believe he was acting in accordance with behaviors learned in his police training?” – with the emphasis being on “believe”.
Slager’s defense will contend that an overzealous “aim for the body mass first, ask questions later” institutional response to perceived threats made him do it.
Off the hook, probably not. But Slager deserves the full murder charge, not some watered down manslaughter charge. I'm with you, there's nothing I could be shown that would justify shooting someone in the back from 10 feet away, but it's frightening how easy it is to collect 12 dimwits.
You are definitely right on that Jaxx. Mr. Savage is a brilliant defense attorney, one of the best. If I ever go totally and completely berserk and become a full blown raving lunatic national big time, I would want Andy as my defense attorney. He takes cases that many would not touch with a ten foot pole and goes the extra mile for families of many-both criminal and victims, for that alone, I greatly admire him. That being said, I really do not believe that Andy Savage possibly expects to get this cold blooded murderer off the hook, he is just doing a public service of giving him the best defense he can. I mean even John Wayne Gacy had a defense attorney.
usually just one holdout for a hung jury. I remember a juror during pre-trial stating "I don't care what they say, I ain't sending a brother to jail." Followed by another commenting, "That's right". That is all it takes.
Angry or stupid. But you're a fool if you underestimate Andy Savage.
Yep. Just 12.
He doesn't have to convince the majority of us, just 12.
Lets see.....man running away.....man shot in back. All captured quite clearly on camera for posterity. There is nothing, zip, zilch, nada that the defense could possibly show any of us that would allow the majority of us to think that this was in any way, shape or form anything but a out of control police officer who took matters into his own hands. Quit watching TV Chris.
An artistic warning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFJlzcxb6l…
"What, if anything, could exonerate Michael T. Slager?"
A majority Republican jury.
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