CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a white former South Carolina police officer charged with the murder of an unarmed black man (all times local):
Court has adjourned after the first day of testimony in South Carolina's murder trial of Michael Slager, the former North Charleston police officer who shot Walter Scott in the back while the unarmed motorist tried to run from a traffic stop.
The day began with opening statements before the nearly all-white jury weighing the fate of the white former officer, who faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted of murdering the black man.
Prosecutors said Slager may have been provoked when Scott grabbed at his stun gun, but that didn't justify shooting him afterward. The defense says Slager had no way of knowing that Scott wasn't armed.
Jurors hearing the murder trial of a white former South Carolina police officer who shot an unarmed black motorist have seen the dash cam video taken from the officer's car.
The video is from the cruiser of Michael Slager, who pulled Walter Scott over for a broken tail light on April 4, 2015.
It does not show the shooting of Scott, which happened outside the view of the dash camera. But it does show the Mercedes Scott was driving as it is pulled over for a broken taillight. It shows Slager returning to his cruiser to check Scott's driver's license and insurance information, and then it shows Scott bolting from the vehicle.
North Charleston Police Sgt. Scott Hille (HILL) was called by the prosecution to introduce the video.
Asked by the defense if the footage shows anything unprofessional in Slager's behavior in handling the stop, Hille replied: "Not that I can think of sir."
Slager faces 30 years to life if convicted of murder in the shooting of Scott, which a bystander recorded on a cellphone and posted to social media.
A man who was riding with Walter Scott says he has no idea why Scott tried to run away after officer Michael Slager pulled him over in April 2015 in South Carolina. Pierre Fulton testified Thursday during the trial of the former North Charleston officer, who faces 30 years to life if convicted of murder.
Fulton was in the front passenger seat when Slager pulled Scott over for a broken taillight.
Fulton testified that Scott gave the officer his license and stepped out of the car. He said Scott was told to get back in again, and Scott did, but Fulton said "the next thing you know he was out the door."
Fulton testified that a short time later he heard gunshots. Slager fired eight times as Scott was running away.
Asked by prosecutor Scarlett Wilson why Scott fled, Fulton replied: "That's a question I would like to ask him, Unfortunately I can't. He was murdered."
The fiancee of a black motorist who was shot and killed by a patrolman while running from a traffic stop in South Carolina has testified that he was a "loving and kind person."
Charlotte Jones was among the first four prosecution witnesses to testify in the murder trial of Michael Slager. The 34-year-old former North Charleston officer faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted of murder in the April, 2015 shooting of Scott.
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.
Friends and family of an unarmed black motorist shot to death last year by a white police officer have testified on behalf of prosecutors.
Walter Scott's son, Walter Scott II, testified that he had lived with his father in North Charleston and saw him the day of his death.
A neighbor, Arthur Heyward, told prosecutors he had owned the Mercedes Scott was driving when he was pulled over in April 2015.
In opening statements Thursday, prosecutors said Michael Slager may have been provoked when Scott grabbed his stun gun, but that didn't justify the shooting. Defense attorneys said authorities presume Scott ran because he hadn't paid child support, but don't know for sure.
Slager faces 30 years to life if convicted of murder. A bystander's video recorded the white officer fatally shooting the unarmed black man from a distance as he tried to flee.
Defense attorneys say former officer Michael Slager was forced into action when Walter Scott ran from him during a traffic stop.
Andy Savage told the jury in opening statements on Thursday that Slager was alone on patrol in the "No. 1 crime-ridden area" in North Charleston when he stopped Scott for a non-functioning tail light. He says that would not have been a big deal, but Scott escalated things by trying to run away.
Savage said authorities presume Scott ran because he hadn't paid child support, but that they don't know that for sure.
Slager faces 30 years to life if convicted of murder in the April 2015 shooting death. A bystander's video captured the white officer shooting the unarmed black man eight times from a distance as he tried to flee.
Prosecutors say a white former police officer may have been provoked by an unarmed black motorist, but he wasn't justified in shooting him.
Solicitor Scarlett Wilson told a jury of 11 whites and one black in her opening statement on Thursday that former officer Michael Slager may have been provoked if Walter Scott wrestled his Taser from him.
But Wilson says that doesn't justify Scott being shot eight times as he ran from the officer.
Slager faces 30 years to life if convicted of murder in the April 2015 shooting death of the 50-year-old Scott as Scott fled a traffic stop in North Charleston.
Before jurors entered the courtroom, Judge Clifton Newman ruled that Slager can remain free on bond during his trial.
The white former police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist will be allowed to stay out of jail during his trial.
Judge Clifton Newman ruled Thursday morning that Michael Slager can remain free on bond during his trial.
Slager faces 30 years to life if convicted of murder in the April 2015 shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott as Scott fled a traffic stop in North Charleston.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys are giving opening statements Thursday morning before a panel of 11 white jurors and one black juror.
Opening statements are getting started in the murder trial of a white former police officer charged in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist.
The trial unfolds against a backdrop of violence by and toward police across the nation.
A panel of 11 white jurors and one black juror will hear the case Thursday in a Charleston courtroom.
Michael Slager faces 30 years to life if convicted of murder in the April 2015 shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott as he fled a traffic stop in North Charleston.
In Ohio, a trial is underway for a white campus police officer charged in the death of a black man. And on Wednesday, authorities apprehended a suspect in the deaths of two Iowa officers shot while sitting in their patrol cars.