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    VERDICT WATCH: Initial Jury deadlock in police shooting of Walter Scott (Update: resume deliberations Monday)

    VERDICT WATCH: Initial Jury deadlock in police shooting of Walter Scott (Update: resume deliberations Monday)

    One holdout juror for not guilty.

    You may recall the shooting killing of Walter Scott by police officer Michael Slager.

    Video showing Slager shooting Scott in the back as he ran away went viral.

    Slager testified in his own defense at the trial. His basic defense was that he acted reasonably given the high stress situation:

    The April 4, 2015, shooting stunned the nation after a bystander captured the scene on a cellphone video, images that have been played multiple times in the courtroom during Slager’s trial.

    “My family has been destroyed by it. The Scott family has been destroyed by it. It’s horrible,” he said.

    Slager, who is white, testified in a subdued voice that he had pulled Scott over for a broken taillight and was preparing to write him a warning ticket when Scott bolted from his car, ran down a road and into a vacant lot.

    “In my mind at that time was, people don’t run for a broken taillight. There’s always another reason,” he testified. “I don’t know why he ran. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

    Slager described yelling “stop” and “Taser! Taser! Taser!” as he caught up to Scott.

    He said he shot his Taser three times, firing both sets of electric darts before using the emptied weapon near Scott’s skin in a so-called “dry stun.”

    Slager said Scott fell to the ground after he fired the second time, and he tried to subdue him, pushing him down with an elbow while holding the Taser in one hand and reaching for his radio to call for backup with the other. That was when Scott grabbed the stun gun, he said.

    “He rips it out of my hand,” Slager said, demonstrating the position he said he was in.

    “I knew I was in trouble,” Slager testified, adding that Scott “was extending his right arm, leaning forward and coming at me.”

    “I was scared” and in “total fear that Mr. Scott didn’t stop” resisting arrest, Slager said.

    The video begins at roughly this point, showing Scott breaking away from what Slager said was their confrontation over the Taser.”

    At that point I pulled my firearm and pulled the trigger,” he said. “I fired until the threat was stopped as I was trained to do.”

    The trial ended, and the Jury indicated in notes to the Judge that it was deadlocked with one holdout juror refusing to convict. However, the jury continued to deliberate, via Post and Courier live blog:

    5:35 p.m. The jury wants to keep deliberating in the murder trial of Michael Slager.

    The jury foreperson told the judge about the jury’s request Friday evening.

    The request comes an hour after the jury told the judge that they were deadlocked in reaching an unanimous verdict.

    The jury faces three options: a guilty verdict on murder or voluntary manslaughter, or an acquittal. If they cannot unanimously agree on either, the jury would be hung, and a mistrial would be declared.
    4:20 p.m. Judge says he’s received a long note from one juror saying he “cannot consider a guilty verdict.”

    “I still cannot without a reasonable doubt convict the defendant,” the juror writes. “I cannot and will not change my mind.” The judge sends the clerk to request that the jury foreperson let him know if the jurors are “hopelessly deadlocked.”

    4:10 p.m. The jury has returned to the courtroom for the second time today after first coming back with a note indicating that they were deadlocked and being sent back out by the judge to try again at deliberating.

    The Judge sent the jury back for more deliberation.


    We will monitor and update if and when a verdict is reached or a mistrial declared.

    UPDATE – The Jury will resume deliberations on Monday.


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    How do you square those two points?”

    Barry: “They do not need to be ‘squared’. There is no ‘contradiction'”

    Don’t be an ass. I’m asking because I don’t know

    “Not being required is not the same as not being allowed.”

    Yes, I know, “may” and “shall”…

    “The felon had just proved he was a danger to the public by attacking the police officer. The officer was justified in stopping the fleeing felon with deadly force.”

    Yes, I already made that point. So no need to convince me.

    “There is no requirement that someone possess a knife or gun to be considered a deadly threat.”

    Duh. We’ve been over this several times with the “unarmed” nonsense re Martin and Brown. I’ve even cited FBI stats here showing the number of people killed by fists every year. So again, no need to explain that to me.

    Maybe if you weren’t trying to be a big shot you could have applied some reading comprehension and actually addressed the question I was asking.

    So again, my understanding from examples like the Micheal Brown shooting is that the police are obligated to stop a fleeing subject who has demonstrated he is a menace to society (ie attacking law enforcement). That’s why Wilson could fire at Brown as he was running away, something a civilian can not legally do.

    But I also recall a recent court case that ruled police have no responsibility to come to the aid of members of society.

    I may be confusing the terms, I may have a fuzzy recollection of the court ruling, I may be using definitions that are not precise. If so, it would be cool if you could extend me the courtesy of correcting my ignorance without involving your Small Penis Syndrome. Thanks.

      fogflyer in reply to Fen. | December 3, 2016 at 9:50 am

      Michael Nrown was NOT running away.
      The blood spatter and shell casing make it clear that Michael Brown was advancing on the officer when he was shot. Had he been running away, the outcome would have probably been much different.

      I would like you to show me one case where an unarmed man fought with police and then subsequently shot while fleeing. I know of no case law that suggests that once someone fights was with an officer (resists arrest) that you can shoot them down when they run away, even if unarmed.

      Again, in this particular case, that is not even being used as a defense.
      The defense is going with a simple self-defense stance. Slager was in reasonable fear of great bodily harm when he shot Scott.

      Barry in reply to Fen. | December 3, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      Well, ass, don’t ask a question if you don’t want an answer. There was no contradiction to be “squared”. The rest of your comment is just BS.

      Barry in reply to Fen. | December 3, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      “…Small Penis Syndrome. Thanks.”

      You’re as juvenile as your buddy Rags. No wonder y’all love each other so much.

    StandingAthwartHistory | December 3, 2016 at 5:52 am

    “How do you square those two points?”

    If I recall correctly, the ruling(s) that police lack a duty to protect citizens arose when someone tried to hold a police officer/department liable when someone wasn’t protected. It may have been a case where a known assailant was able to harm a victim (e.g., there was a restraining order and the victim called the police, identifying the threat/assailant, and the police didn’t get there in time to stop/prevent the harm). When the victim (or the family) sued, they alleged that the police were negligent in protecting the victim.

    In order to prevail on a negligence claim, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant owed a duty to the specific plaintiff. Since the court found there was no duty to protect specific individuals, the plaintiff lost the lawsuit (i.e., if defendant didn’t owe a duty to the plaintiff, then whether the defendant’s actions were reasonable is irrelevant).

    My recollection of the take-away of the case(s) is that the duty owed by police is to try to solve crimes after they happen; they have no duty to prevent crimes from occurring to specific people.

    I did some checking to confirm my recollection. Here’s some specific instances of the principle (or a variation of it) being applied (beware, the facts are very unpleasant):

    I’m not very familiar with the fleeing felony rule, but it seems the two principles can be “squared” based on the authority for an officer to use such force as is necessary to stop a specific felon, but no specific person has a claim against the officer if he doesn’t stop the felon.

    I hope that helps some.

    Aggie95 | December 3, 2016 at 8:28 am

    * SHRUG* if Scott had not done what he had done he would still be alive

    Ragspierre | December 3, 2016 at 10:47 am

    This was a bad shooting. (See the period?)

    Milhouse | December 4, 2016 at 12:12 am

    There’s nothing to “square”. The police have a general duty to society to try to prevent crime. They have no specific duty to any individual to prevent any specific crime. They may choose to ignore a crime, for instance because they’re busy doing something they consider more important, or because they think preventing this crime will cause more crimes to be committed, while letting it go will calm things down.

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