The jury in the trial of the white former North Charleston, S.C., police officer accused of murdering a black unarmed motorist was seated in the case Wednesday, with 11 whites and 1 black serving.
Michael Slager, 34, is charged with murder in the April 2015 shooting death of Walter Scott, 50, who was running from a traffic stop in North Charleston when Slager shot him in the back five times.
The Washington Post reports that the jury of 11 whites and 1 black was chosen from a predominantly white jury pool. Of the pool of 75 qualified jurors, 55 were white, 16 were black and the rest were other races. Attorneys for Slager used their strikes to dismiss nine potential jurors, seven of whom were minorities.
Circuit Judge Clifton Newman heard several motions from Slager’s attorneys, including a request to move the trial from Charleston, which he denied.
The defense’s motion to dismiss the murder charge on the basis of double jeopardy was also denied by Newman, who said that Slager had been given all the due process afforded by the laws of South Carolina. He ruled that in order to dismiss the charges on those grounds, he would have to “overrule well-established doctrine.”
The defense has also requested that cellphone video of the shooting captured by a witness not be allowed in court. The Post reports that defense attorneys say the issue will be raised when the prosecution presents the evidence.
Opening arguments in the trial are expected to begin Thursday.
Source: The Root
Written by: Monique Judge