Activists renew call that ex-officer be returned to jail

By Bruce Smith, Associated Press | Posted - Jan. 8, 2016 at 11:02 a.m.



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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Civil rights activists are renewing their call that a former South Carolina policeman charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist be returned to jail.

Michael Slager, who is white, was released on bond Monday and activists said the next day that he should be back in jail because he's a danger to the community.

They renewed that call Friday when about 15 people gathered in front of North Charleston City Hall. The group shouted "We want Slager Back in Jail" and "No Justice, No Peace!"

The activists, including representatives of Black Lives Matter and the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network, also said they want to meet with Circuit Judge Clifton Newman about why Slager was released after Newman denied bond last September.

At the time, Newman said he was concerned Slager would be a flight risk.

But in granting bond at a hearing Monday, Newman said he was troubled Slager would remain in jail until the fall awaiting trial - a delay caused because the trial of Dylann Roof, charged with murder in the killings of nine black parishioners at a Charleston church, is being held first.

The state Supreme Court has issued an order protecting the local prosecutor, Scarlett Wilson, from trying other cases before the Roof case which is set for July. Slager is slated for trial on Oct. 31.

Slager, 34, is shown on cellphone video firing eight times as Walter Scott ran from a traffic stop last April 4. The case inflamed a national debate about how blacks are treated by white police officers.

Slager is under house arrest at an undisclosed location in South Carolina. He faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted.

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Bruce Smith

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