A judge in South Carolina denied bail to a policeman who is accused of fatally shooting an unarmed African American man. According to court documents, the officer was charged with murdering the man after pulling him over in a routine traffic stop.
The 33-year-old policeman, Michael Slager, has been in jail since April of this year, when he was arrested for the shooting death of 50-year-old motorist, Walter Scott. Before he was fatally shot, court documents indicate that Scott tried to flee from the traffic stop.
Shooting Caught on Camera by a Witness
The shooting of Scott by the police officer was caught on camera by a witness. The incident has helped to fuel the nationwide debate over excessive police violence against minorities.
Slager, who works for the North Charleston police department, was terminated over the incident. He was also arrested and charged with murder. According to the judge presiding over the murder case, he denied bail to Slager because granting bail and releasing the terminated officer "would constitute an unreasonable danger to the community."
Allegedly Scott Was Trying to Escape When Shot
According to prosecutors, Scott was trying to escape the officer when he was shot, and he was not physically attacking the officer. The officer has further been accused of tampering with evidence at the scene by placing his stun gun closer to the fatally shot man's body.
According to the bystander who took the cellphone video of the incident, it looked like the officer had punched Scott, and Scott was attempting to escape and run away.
The brother of the deceased motorist said that denying bail to the officer was not a reason to celebrate. Scott's brother said, "There are no winners or losers when one man has lost his life at the hands of another."
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