NAACP addresses media on jury selection in Slager trial

NAACP addresses media on jury selection in Slager trial

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston chapter of the NAACP held a news conference on the selection of the jury in the Michael Slager trial while court was adjourned for lunch Friday.

Some eyebrows were raised after it was learned that the group chosen to decide Slager's fate was made up of eleven white jurors and one black juror.

"It is both disappointing and amazing that in Charleston County where 68 percent of the population is white, 90 percent of the jury is white," Chapter president Dot Scott said about what she called a troubling development in the trial.

Slager, a white former officer, is charged in the April 4, 2015 shooting death of Walter Scott, a black man, in a foot pursuit that ensued after a traffic stop.

Dot Scott said they understand that potential jurors are stricken by both the prosecution and the defense. She also said she and other members of the NAACP were not there to judge whether or not the jury could be impartial.

"We don't question the legality of the jurors' seating, but history tells us that when it comes to the judicial statement in our nation, state and community, what's legal is not always right."

Scott gave examples of white suspects in trials over the killings of black men being acquitted by all-white or majority white juries.

Scott said despite the jury not reflecting the diversity of the community, the NAACP hopes a just ruling is made.

Police dash cam video shows Scott running from his vehicle after being pulled over for a broken taillight on an April morning last year.

Slager told investigators he shot Scott in self-defense after Scott grabbed his Taser in a struggle during a foot pursuit.

The officer was charged with murder and fired after cell phone video shot by a bystander appeared to show Slager shooting Scott in the back as he ran.

Copyright 2016 WCSC. All Rights Reserved.