Slager to Appear in Federal Court Today
(ABC News/AP) – Michael Slager, a white former police officer, is expected to appear in federal court in South Carolina today in connection with the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man last year.
Slager is accused of murder in the fatal shooting of Walter Scott during a traffic stop in North Charleston in April 2015. Dash-camera video captured Slager, who was a North Charleston Police Department officer, standing at Scott’s car.
The video also captured Scott’s running away. Witness video appeared to show the moment Slager, now 34, fatally shot Scott, 50, as he ran away.
On the murder charge, for which he pled not guilty, Slager will appear in state court at a trial set to start in October. But today’s federal court hearing in Charleston stems from civil rights charges against Slager: a federal civil rights offense, using a firearm during the commission of the civil rights offense and obstruction of justice.
The federal court indictment alleges Slager “used excessive force when he shot and killed Walter Scott without legal justification,” the Department of Justice announced this May.
“Slager was also charged with obstruction of justice for making false statements to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigators with the intent to impede the investigation into the shooting,” the Department of Justice said. “The indictment alleges that Slager intentionally misled SLED investigators by claiming that Scott was coming toward him with a Taser at the time that Slager fired his weapon, when in truth, Scott was running away.”
Slager, who is free on bond, pleaded not guilty in May to the federal counts, according to The Associated Press.
Today marks Slager’s first federal court appearance since his arraignment on the federal civil rights charges in May, the AP said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.