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Walter Scott murder case ends in a mistrial

FAMILY: Judy Scott, center, Walter Scott's mother, is comforted by her son Rodney Scott, as the family attorneys, Chris Stewart, left, and Justin Bamberg, right, hold a press conference after the mistrial was declared for the Michael Slager trial Monday Dec. 5, 2016, in Charleston, S.C

A MISTRIAL has been declared in the murder trial of Michael Slager, the former South Carolina police officer who fatally shot and killed Walter Scott, an unarmed black motorist in 2015.

“We as the jury regret to inform the court that despite the best efforts of all members, we are unable to come to a unanimous decision,” the jury wrote to Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman on Monday afternoon.

In the initial police report, the North Charleston Police Department said Mr Scott took the officer’s Taser and ran toward him. Mr Slager argued that he had no choice but to use deadly force. However, the 35-year-old former officer was fired from his post after a bystander released the now-infamous, graphic footage of the shooting showing Mr Slager firing his handgun, and striking the 50-year-old motorist five times, while Mr Scott ran at least 17 feet in the opposite direction.

After the cellphone video contradicted the officer’s statements, it was hard to find anyone in his corner, even the local police union, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers’ Association, called Mr Slager’s actions “a very bad decision” and an “unnecessary death.”

After the trial concluded on Monday, prosecutors told the Scott family that they would be seeking a retrial as soon as possible.

“While I cannot overstate our disappointment that this case was not resolved, I commend those who sacrificed so much time, energy and effort to serve on this jury. We will try Michael Slager again,” Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said in a statement. “We hope the federal and state courts will coordinate efforts regarding any future trial dates but we stand ready whenever the court calls.”

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