Currently, the jury is in its second day of deliberations (as of December 1st) in the murder trial of Michael Slager. Typically, logic would dictate that someone who was caught on video in broad daylight shooting an unarmed person in the back as they ran away from them would be a pretty easy case for a jury to decide. It’s hard to come up with a scenario where murder is more obvious of a description than that. Even the judge in the case initially (and correctly) described Slager as “an unreasonable danger to the community.”
However, it’s neither unlikely, nor even an unusual idea that the exact opposite will happen at some point in the next few days or so. When Officer Slager murdered Walter Scott, then attempted to plant a taser next to his body to justify those five shots in the back, he was wearing a Magical Suit that renders those who wear it impervious to meaningful consequences for their actions, up to and including outright murder. One of the obvious examples of that is the simple fact that Slager would have never been charged with any crime whatsoever if not for the fact that a random witness decided to start recording that day.
The fact that Scott was shot five times from behind would have been completely ignored and Slager’s story would have been the one put out publicly by the North Charleston police. We know that because for the two days before the video of the shooting recorded by Feidin Santana surfaced that narrative was already well on its way to being constructed and Slager was poised to become the 210th South Carolina cop to shoot someone without a single one being convicted. In fact, even within the first seconds of murdering Scott, Officer Slager was already feigning the effects of a frenzied struggle while walking calmly toward his body in order to sell his cover story. The fact that it took two days for Santana to overcome his fear of retaliation and produce that video is a statement about where the Good Cops working with Slager (and other Killer Cops) usually stand when one of their own is accused of violence.
Fortunately, he did the right thing and produced the video, which is why everyone on this planet and several other knows that Michael Slager is a murderer. The question for at least the next couple days though is which planet is the jury on? It’s been well documented that juries are more likely to believe testimony from police and also have a tendency to blame the victim out of sympathy toward their perceived good nature even in cases where guilt is obvious. It’s not a coincidence that cops are more likely to testify in their own defense when on trial even though that is generally seen as a horrible and desperate idea for everyone else.
Personally, my money is on a hung jury. Finding at least one Cop Lover willing to look the other way out of the twelve members of the jury is a good bet. It also gives the prosecutors the bonus option of pushing things into the lap of the Feds, who have already announced that they too will be putting Slager on trial. Although, as obvious as Slager’s guilt is on that video I think the odds are pretty close that they will be able to come together on a compromise of a manslaughter conviction and give the judge the chance to give him a firm slap on the wrist consisting mostly of probation with the possibility of a light prison sentence to head off the public outcry. I don’t for a second see him being convicted of the actual crime of murder that he committed that day or getting anything close to what a typical citizen would.