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Jury selection for Slager trial draws reaction - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Jury selection for Slager trial draws reaction

Michael Slager speaks to defense attorney Andy Savage in court on Monday. (Source: AP Pool/File) Michael Slager speaks to defense attorney Andy Savage in court on Monday. (Source: AP Pool/File)
CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC -

The jury for the Michael Slager trial has been selected, and it will be a predominately white, middle-aged group.

Five white women, six white men, and one black man were chosen as the primary jurors for the trial.

Slager, a white officer, is accused of shooting and killing Walter Scott, a black man, during an altercation after a traffic stop in 2015.

Some are saying the jury isn’t representative of Charleston County.

African Americans make up only eight percent of the jury for the Slager trial, but make up 28 percent of Charleston County.

“Well there’s only one black juror on it, that’s not representative of the community. Although not the stated purpose of defense council,” Charleston Attorney Dwayne Green said.

"It's wrong I think it should be like maybe half and half or maybe all blacks, but who am I to decide that decision. Just going to watch and see what happens.” Leroy Jackson said.

However, some are saying people can look past this.

"I don't think it really matters what color the jurors are,” Karen Meadows said. "I think everybody is going to have an open mind. We have a black president that we voted in. I don’t think people will that into account as much as the facts.”

Green says the defense council wouldn’t be doing their job if they weren’t trying to find jurors that they felt could relate to their client, even if they can’t come out and say that.

“Attorneys are doing what they need to within the constitutional guidelines to try and benefit their client,” Green said. “But the defense council and prosecutor wouldn’t be doing their job if they weren’t’ trying to find jurors they felt could relate to their client so sometimes that’s race.”

But there was a Batson challenge made by the victim’s prosecution — a challenge that suggests racial motivation when it comes to striking or getting rid of a juror.

That challenge was dropped once the defense council indicated there were other reasons besides race that each juror was struck.

“In this particular case Scarlet Wilson did make a Batson challenge, but once the defense council indicated there were other reasons besides race the jurors were struck, my understanding is she dropped that motion,” Green said.

Green said there have been other cases where race might have been a factor when it came to jury selection.

“We saw that in Trayvon Martin case, long time ago we saw it in the OJ Simpson case but that was the Rodney King case where the jury was in Semi Valley I think it was an all-white jury in that case and they exonerated a white officer for beating a black motorist,“ Green said.

But says for this case, it seems both sides came to an agreement when it came to striking jurors.

“It did raise an eyebrow that the jury pool or panel has only one black juror but you have to take the defense council at its word that if it did not strike them for racial reasons, then there weren’t racial reasons. And the prosecutors aren’t pushing it, so the jury is what we have,” Green said.

“There’s great lawyers in the case the judge was selected by the chief justice so they’re very experienced people so regardless of the public pressure I have faith in our legal system. Regardless of the racial dynamics at play procedurally it’s going to follow what it needs to follow in order to have a fair process and result,” Green said.

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