CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Branch of the NAACP spoke out about the mistrial declared in the murder trial of a former North Charleston police officer.
After a five-week state trial that began in November, the 12-person jury tasked with deciding whether Michael Slager was guilty of either murder or voluntary manslaughter or not guilty on the basis of self-defense after killing Walter Scott, who ran from a traffic stop, told a judge they would be unable to reach a unanimous decision.
Solicitor for Charleston and Berkeley counties Scarlett Wilson says Slager will be tried again.
At a noon news conference on Monday, members of the NAACP released a statement on the coming retrial and addressed questions about the selection of the jury and jury foreman.
"Like most citizens, we found it to be outrageous that clear evidence of what appears to be either manslaughter or murder did not lead all of those on the jury to reach a just decision," President of the Charleston Branch of the NAACP Dot Scott said.
Scott asked that the jury selection in the retrial be done in an "unquestionably fair and transparent manner."
"That wasn't the case with the hung jury that led to the mistrial, and that lack of transparency led to nagging concerns for many citizens," Scott said.
The mistrialed case's jury foreman, the group's only African American, told Live 5 News the jury's indecision was "an extreme letdown" last week.
"I'm a little upset that twelve individuals from twelve different backgrounds could not come together to come up with one verdict," Dorsey Montgomery said.
In addition to charges issued by the state of South Carolina, Slager is slated to answer to charges in federal court next year.