Scott family: 'We have faith' there will be justice for Walter Scott
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The family of Walter Scott issued a brief statement saying they have faith in the process as the trial of the former police officer charged in Scott's shooting death continues.
Michael Slager, a former North Charleston police officer, is charged with murder in Scott's shooting death following a traffic stop on April 4, 2015.
"From the beginning, the Scott family humbled ourselves and we asked that justice do their jobs," Rodney Scott, Walter Scott's youngest brother said. "And from this point, we're going to sit back and pray that justice will do their job, and in the end, hopefully, we will get justice."
Family attorney Chris Stewart denied rumors the family was concerned about the racial makeup of the jury. The jury selected on Wednesday morning consisted of 11 white jurors and one black juror.
"The family isn't [worried] at all. We aren't at all," he said. "Because the only thing you need in this case is everything that those jurors have: two eyes and a brain. It doesn't matter what color they are because they have eyes that can see that videotape. And they have brains that are processing right now. That jury is intense, watching everything. And they know that there is no explanation at all for shooting at a man eight times while running away."
Family attorney and State Rep. Justin Bamberg commended the community on the way it has supported the family and handled the situation.
"We know that at the end of the day justice will prevail and the jurors will make their decision," he said. "But we can look around town right here and see that things are still peaceful and that is what we would like to see continue. And at the end of the day when the verdict comes in, whatever it may be, we ask that that peace continue, because that is who we are, that is who you are as South Carolina citizens, and that is who the Scott family is."
The family did not take any questions from reporters.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys gave opening statements and started questioning witnesses Thursday morning. Witnesses who took the stand Thursday included police officers, Walter Scott's son as well as his fiancee.
Walter Scott II, testified that he had lived with his father in North Charleston and saw him the day of his death.
Scott's fiancee, Charlotte Jones, described Scott as a "loving and kind person."
The defense contends that Slager and Scott fought over the officer's Taser before Scott ran and was shot in the back, an encounter that a bystander recorded on a cellphone. Jones testified that she never knew Scott to have been in a fight. She says "he was not that kind of person."
She also testified that Scott never mentioned to her that he was worried about being behind in child support payments. Scott's relatives have said that he may have tried to run away because he was worried he would be jailed for missing payments.
The trial will resume Friday morning.
Copyright 2016 WCSC. All Rights Reserved.