Fire at home of South Carolina officer charged with murder: media

Reuters News
|
Posted: Jan 09, 2016 7:44 AM

(Reuters) - A small, suspicious fire broke out at the South Carolina home of a white former police officer who is charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed black man, according to local media on Saturday.

Former North Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager is accused of shooting Walter Scott, 50, in the back as he ran away from him during a traffic stop in April 2015. The shooting was caught on video by a bystander and intensified a national debate on police treatment of minorities.

The fire at Slager's Hanahan home was put out by a neighbor at about 9:30 p.m. local time on Friday, according to the Post and Courier newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina.

Police and fire officials were not immediately available for comment.

Vinyl siding was damaged and an incendiary device was found at the scene, authorities told the newspaper.

A police official told the newspaper that two people dressed in black were seen running away from the house and that an arson investigation is underway.

Slager, 34, is under house arrest, according to an attorney for Scott's family, after he was released from jail on $500,000 bail on Monday. It is unclear whether he was at the house at the time of the fire.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Tom Heneghan)