Following four days of deliberations totaling more than 20 hours, Judge Clifton Newman declared a mistrial after jurors were unable to come to a unanimous decision in the trial of Michael Slager, the White South Carolina ex-cop accused of shooting Black unarmed motorist Walter Scott, The Post and Courier reports.
On Friday, the jury delayed after a deadlock when one juror announced they could not “in good conscience” find Slager guilty. The judge granted jurors a recess late Friday afternoon after the foreman announced they would continue to deliberate.
Throughout the trial, the jurors repeatedly asked for input and legal guidance to determine the difference between murder and voluntary manslaughter––the two options for a conviction.
According to The Post and Courier, it is unclear whether the prosecutors will seek charges against Slager, who still faces a federal civil rights case that could lead to life imprisonment.
The viral video captured by bystander Feidin Santana on April 4, 2015 showed Slager firing his handgun at Scott while he ran away following a traffic stop for a broken brake light. Scott fell after five of the bullets hit him from behind, instantly killing him.
Slager has maintained that he feared for his life and shot Scott in self-defense.
Scott’s shooting marked a defining moment in furthering the national discussion of deadly force used by law enforcement against Black men and women.
SOURCE: The Post and Courier | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty