CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Attorneys representing the former police officer accused of murder in the shooting death of a motorist want a video of the incident excluded from the trial.
In a pair of motions filed Tuesday, as jury selection continues in the trial of Michael Slager, his defense team argued a video showing the shooting of Walter Scott taken by a passerby is "highly prejudicial, inflammatory, and factually deficient."
"The video of the shooting taken on April 4, 2015, is unreliable, technically inadequate, limited in scope, and extremely unrepresentative of the events at issue," the motion reads.
Attorneys argue the video is of "poor quality" and "fails to clearly show the significant acts leading up to the fatal shooting, because it is out of focus for a substantial portion of the relevant events, and because it does not adequately reflect the positioning and distances between the actors." They also want the video excluded because it only provides the viewpoint of Feiden Santana, the man who recorded the footage, and not that of Slager.
"As will become abundantly clear, the only point of view that is relevant is the view from the perspective of the officer," the motion states.
The motion states Santana was 137 feet away from the incident at the time he recorded it and was recording from an angle from which the fight preceding the shooting could not be viewed in its entirety.
The motion also requests that if the judge allows the video to be shown, that it not be displayed in slow motion because "recent peer reviewed social scientific studies have shown that slow motion videos are inherently prejudicial."
In a second motion, Slager's attorneys ask for "all witnesses in the case to be sequestered and instructed not to communicate with other witnesses or third parties concerning the trial testimony or rulings until their testimony, including potential recall, is complete."