Solicitor: Michael Slager indicted in Walter Scott shooting

Michael SlagerPost and Courier – by Andrew Knapp

A Charleston County grand jury Monday morning indicted former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager on a murder charge in the shooting death of Walter Scott, the area’s top prosecutor announced.

“The prosecution work has just begun,” 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said during a news conference.  

An expected milestone in the case, the indictment came as the solicitor also received the last part of the State Law Enforcement Division file about the shooting, she said.

Slager’s attorney, Andy Savage, said the indictment is “just another step in the process.” But Savage said that the state had not handed over its evidence in the case and that he couldn’t comment on it or on the indictment until then.

“We remain at a disadvantage in addressing any questions,” Savage said. “Until we have an opportunity to fully evaluate the state’s case and to compare it with our own investigation, we will not be commenting on any aspect of the case.”

Though she noted that the case marked the first time she has handled a murder case against a police officer, Wilson said that it was her duty to pursue the charge and that she thinks a jury in Charleston County can be impartial in making a decision if it reaches a trial.

The indictment means that Slager is formally charged with murder, a felony that carries between 30 years and life in prison. He was arrested on that charge three days after Scott was shot in the back during a traffic stop April 4. Slager is white, and Scott was black.

A bystander’s cellphone video of the shooting drew worldwide attention and a series of protests over the police use of deadly force against black men.

Slager said in a public statement before the video surfaced that he felt threatened when he and Scott, 50, got into a struggle over his Taser.

“Just because you have video in a case doesn’t mean it’s the be-all, end-all and the case is over,” Wilson cautioned.

The prosecutor said she hasn’t seen any evidence for charges against anyone else in connection with the case, but she wouldn’t rule that out until reviewing the entire SLED investigative file.

Attorneys for Scott’s family, Christopher Stewart of Atlanta and state Rep. Justin Bamberg, briefly commented on the case after Wilson’s announcement.

“We want to say ‘thank you’ to the community for their support,” Bamberg said.

Stewart said a number of issues will be addressed in a federal lawsuit that he and Bamberg plan to file in coming months.

On the indictment, one of Scott’s brothers, Rodney Scott, said, “We’re very happy and pleased.”

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or

One thought on “Solicitor: Michael Slager indicted in Walter Scott shooting

  1. “Just because you have video in a case doesn’t mean it’s the be-all, end-all and the case is over,” Wilson cautioned.”


    Why should we trust our own eyes.

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