Michael Slager, the former police officer who was indicted for the murder of Walter Scott during a traffic stop in North Charleston, South Carolina in April 2015, has been released from jail on a $500,000 bond.
Slager, 33, was previously denied bail at the Charleston County Detention Center after footage from a cellphone video revealed an entirely different narrative from the one Slager reported after he shot Scott, 50, eight times in the back on April 4, 2015. Prior to his release, Slager had been held in solitary confinement since the shooting.
The initial police report claimed that during a routine traffic stop in which Slager pulled Scott over for a broken taillight, Scott fled the scene and Slager “deployed his department-issued Taser in an attempt to stop him.” The statement further claimed that “an altercation ensued as the men struggled over the device,” and that Slager “resorted to his service weapon” and shot Scott, only after Scott “gained control of the Taser” and attempted to use it against Slager.
However, the video of the shooting appeared to show Scott running away from Slager, Slager pulling out his gun and shooting Scott in the back, and Slager then approaching Scott’s limp body on the ground and planting his Taser next to it.
Slager’s trial was set to begin in the spring. However, he is being prosecuted by Scarlett Wilson, who is also prosecuting Dylan Roof, who was charged with shooting and killing nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in June 2015. Wilson said a state Supreme Court order gives precedence to the church shooting.
Circuit Judge Clifton Newman set a trial date for Oct. 31 and allowed Slager to be released on a $500,000 surety bond, as long as he stays in South Carolina, on house arrest in an undisclosed location.