Mistrial declared for ex-cop who killed Walter Scott on video

As a result of a lone juror who told the judge, “I cannot and will not change my mind,” the Michael Slager murder trial has resulted in a mistrial. Slager, a former North Charleston police officer in South Carolina, fatally shot an unarmed Walter Scott in the back on April 4, 2015. The fatality was captured on video, leading to protests, condemnation, and outcries from celebrity activists. And even with a video, the jury could not come to a unanimous decision to convict. Racism and injustice are par for the course in an America that proves over and over and over again that it doesn’t think black lives matter.

A tense week came to a head after jurors deliberated for two days, unable to come to an unanimous decision. In notes to the judge, the jury indicated it was deadlocked in an 11-1 decision, with the majority in favor of convicting Slager for manslaughter or murder. Judge Clifton Newman ordered the jurors to take the weekend off to resume Monday morning, but today’s deliberations did not yield different results.

From the outset, odds were not in favor of justice. The 12 person jury was comprised of 11 white people and one black person. If one considers that Charleston is 23 percent black, this jury selection in itself is a miscarriage of justice. Judge Newman should’ve dismissed the entire jury in favor of one more representative of the city.

“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 told the judge, who then declared a mistrial. The month-long trial has come to an end all because one uncertain juror refused to convict a cop for shooting an unarmed black man in the back five times.

Scott was pulled over for a traffic stop, when he fled from Slager. Because we’ve all seen too many times where routine traffic stops result in the deaths of black people, who could blame him for running? The chase ended with five bullets in Scott’s back although Slager fired off eight rounds. A heroic bystander captured some of the incident on video.

In a textbook defense, Slager testified that he “feared for his life” because Scott had allegedly grabbed his taser out of his hand, then allegedly charged toward him with it in hand. “At that point, I pulled my firearm and pulled the trigger,” Slager said in court. “I fired until the threat was stopped as I was trained to do.”

The sole eyewitness disputes the former officer’s account, claiming Scott was never the aggressor. Cops’ accounts are always taken as fact, but we’ve seen too many times where entire police departments have lied, retracted statements, and participated in cover-ups for corrupt cops.

What else is there to say? A mistrial was declared in the trial of the officer who killed Sam Dubose. Just last week, a Charlotte prosecutor declared an officer “acted lawfully” in the killing of Keith Scott. There was no indictment for the cops who killed Eric Garner, or the ones who killed Aiyana Jones and Rekia Boyd and Sean Bell and Amadou Diallo. And too many more. It’s nothing more than the system working exactly how it was designed to work.