Michael Slager, the North Charleston, South Carolina, cop who shot Walter Scott eight times in the back, killing him, was released on $500,000 bond Monday, the Charleston Post and Courier reports. The judge was concerned over how long Slager would spend in prison before going to trial.
Circuit Judge Clifton Newman denied Slager bail in September, ruling that he was a danger to the community and a flight risk. However, the state Supreme Court has subsequently ordered that prosecutors cannot try any other cases before Dylann Roof’s trial this summer, and Newman set Slager’s trial for the end of October. From the Post and Courier:
Slager’s pretrial confinement had affected a sort of punishment on the former officer even while he is presumed innocent, the judge said. Slager’s attorney cited Slager’s celiac disease that has worsened with a jail diet containing gluten.
The prospect of months more behind bars prompted Newman to reconsider his decision denying bail in September, when he labeled Slager a danger to the community and a flight risk.
Post and Courier reporter Andrew Knapp reported on Twitter that a jail spokesman said the jail’s website was incorrect about Slager having been released, and that he was in the process of posting bail.
Before the judge ruled for Slager’s release, Scott’s father, Walter Scott Sr., asked that Slager be kept in jail. “I don’t think Mr. Slager had any remorse after watching that video,” he said. “Every time I look at it, it makes me cry...I feel he should stay where he’s at so he could feel the pain I feel.”