By Paul Gable
Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager has been denied bond by Judge Clifton Newman.
Slager, the officer who made international news by shooting a fleeing Walter Scott numerous times on April 4, 2015, will have to stay in jail for now as preparations for his defense go forward.
In his short narrative order filed earlier today, Judge Newman said, “After careful consideration of all the evidence presented and the nature and circumstances of the offense, the Court finds that release of Defendant would constitute an unreasonable danger to the community and the request for release on bond should be denied.”
This ruling was predictable considering how aspects of the case have been handled so far.
While SLED was honoring FOIA requests from media sources about some of the evidence in the case, Slager’s attorneys have made numerous requests for evidence that have been ignored.
A statement from Slager’s attorneys about the decision reads:
“We share Michael’s disappointment in today’s Court decision but remain firmly convinced that following a review of all the evidence, a jury of Michael’s peers will find that he was free of any criminal intent in his actions on April 4, 2015.”
The statement is signed Andrew J. Savage III, Shaun C. Kent, Cameron J. Blazer.
Earlier this month, Slager’s attorneys made their seventh (7th) request for the following information:
- A copy of the Facebook message sent by Feidin Santana (the man who shot the video of Slager shooting Scott on his cellphone) to Black Lives Matter in North Charleston regarding his contact with Walter Scott’s family.
- Information regarding the composition of the Grand Jury that indicted Slager, including its method of selection; names of witnesses heard by the Grand Jury and verification all witnesses were administered an oath prior to testifying.
- Name of the individual currently in possession of the cellphone used by Santana on April 4, 2015 and a request the cellphone be made available for inspection of the video.
- A time to inspect all audio equipment used by Slager on April 4, 2015.
- All documents of SLED memorializing a telephone conversation with attorney and Rep. Todd Rutherford (who was acting for Santana) regarding Santana’s intent to surrender the cellphone video to law enforcement.
Every time I hear the term SLED used in conjunction with video and audio recorded evidence, I think of the Southern Holdings case. I am familiar with certain video recordings and equipment that were key elements to the plaintiffs’ case and of SLED’s part in the disappearing act of that evidence.
We will all watch as this case moves forward. But, in the politically charged atmosphere brought to this case, many things can, and probably will, happen.
Judge Newman’s order: PDF FILED Order Denying Bond re Slager