Jury Selected in Murder Trial for Former N. Charleston Cop
CHARLESTON, S.C. (ABC News) – A jury made up of 11 white men and women and one black man was selected today in the Charleston, South Carolina, trial of a white police officer accused of fatally shooting an unarmed black man.
Michael Slager is accused of killing Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, at a traffic stop in April 2015, when Slager was a North Charleston Police Department officer. Witness video of the incident that surfaced at the time and garnered national attention appears to show the moment Slager fatally shot Scott as he ran away.
Slager, 34, is charged with murder. He has pleaded not guilty.
Opening statements are set for Thursday morning.
Jury selection began Monday with 188 potential jurors. By this morning, the pool was narrowed down to 75, and the 12 jury members and six alternates were selected by mid-day.
The primary panel consists of six white men, five white women and one black man.
The alternates consist of two white men, two white women and two black women.
Following jury selection, the prosecution brought a legal challenge called a Batson challenge, alleging the defense had racial motivation for striking jurors. The defense used nine of its 10 strikes, and seven of those strikes were on minorities. The defense listed its reasons for striking each minority, including that one had trouble with the English language and one had made anti-gun comments. The prosecutor accepted the defense’s statements and the Batson challenge was dropped.