Former North Charleston officer Michael Slager appeared in a Charleston court Wednesday to answer to a three-count federal indictment for the shooting of Walter Scott. Clean-shaven and dressed in a suit with his feet and hands shackled, Slager pled not guilty to charges of deprivation of rights under the color of law, use of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, and obstruction of justice. Federal attorneys will not pursue the death penalty, but Slager faces a possible sentence of life in prison if convicted.
Warning: Graphic video.
Slager will be represented by attorneys Andy Savage and Shaun Kent for the federal trial. Savage is also serving as the lead attorney for the defense in Slager’s state trial, which is scheduled for Oct. 31.
According to the indictment, prosecutors allege that Slager knowingly and intentionally misled SLED officials tasked with investigating the death of Walter Scott last April. U.S. attorneys claim that the former officer told SLED agents that he fired his weapon at Scott while Scott was rushing toward him with a Taser. An eyewitness video of the shooting shows Slager repeatedly fire his weapon at Scott as he attempted to flee the officer.