Walter Scott shooting case: Court documents reveal new details

Updated 12:10 AM EDT, Thu September 10, 2015
02:58 - Source: CNN
Enhanced video in Walter Scott shooting (2015)

Story highlights

The defense for former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager wants him to be granted bail

In court documents, his attorney point to forensic evidence to help make his case

Walter Scott's brother: "We are going nuts about these accusations coming up now"

CNN —  

Michael Slager will have to wait to find out his fate.

As attorneys prepare to square off in court over that issue, court documents obtained by CNN Tuesday revealed new details in the controversial case.

Lawyers for Michael Slager, the former North Charleston police officer, say he should have the chance to post bail. Slager, who’s been charged with murder in the shooting death of Walter Scott, was denied bail at an April bond hearing. According to an August filing from his attorney, he’s been held in solitary confinement ever since.

His defense team will make their case in court on Thursday. Court documents they’ve filed give a glimpse of some of the key points they’ll likely make. Details in the court documents include:

– A toxicology report that says Scott had cocaine and alcohol in his system.

– An analysis of blood found on Slager’s clothing.

– Reports from two lieutenants and the police chief, all stating that Slager told them that during a scuffle, Scott had taken his Taser and pointed it at him.

– Data from Slager’s Taser, which indicates it was fired six times in 67 seconds.

A traffic stop, then a shooting

Slager pulled over Scott on April 4, reportedly for a broken brake light. Scott was later shot in the back by Slager as he was running away.

A bystander recorded the shooting, and the graphic footage sparked outrage and reignited a national conversation around race and policing.

Scott was black; Slager is white.

Slager told investigators Scott did not comply with his demands and tried to grab his stun gun. The cell phone video shows what appeared to be a quick scuffle.

Scott then runs away from Slager, who raises his gun and fires eight times, striking Scott, who was unarmed and whose back was turned to Slager as he fled. Scott died at the scene.

Slager was swiftly fired after the video of the shooting surfaced.

“I have watched the video, and I was sickened by what I saw,” North Charleston police Chief Eddie Driggers told reporters at the time.

Scott’s family: Bail shouldn’t be granted

Scott’s brother says Tuesday’s court filing has left the family reeling.

“We are going nuts about these accusations coming up now. They are trying to change the angle to reflect more on my brother versus the actions that the officer took and the situation,” he said. “The family has not taken it that well. They are trying to change the angle of everything. The video shows the actions that the officer took. My brother was running away, and he shot him.”

Chris Stewart, an attorney representing Scott’s family, said he didn’t think the toxicology test results from Tuesday’s filing have any bearing on the case.

“When you look at the numbers, they were very trace amounts. We don’t know if they would show up in a urine test for a job. There is no evidence that it would affect the way he was acting. Also he wasn’t pulled for speeding or driving erratically or anything that you are typically pulled for if you are under the influence of drugs,” Stewart said. “The tests had nothing to do with the shooting.”

The toxicology report says the level of cocaine in Scott’s blood was 36 nanograms per milliliter, and notes that the average amount for typical impaired drivers is about 87 nanograms per milliliter. The report also said Scott had 1,300 nanograms per milliliter of benzoylecgonine, a byproduct of cocaine metabolism, and cocaethylene, a metabolite that forms when cocaine and alcohol are in the bloodstream at the same time.

Scott’s family believes Slager should remain behind bars, Stewart said. And no matter what the former officer’s attorney argues in court, the video of the shooting clearly shows what happened that day.

“The way that we see it is that desperate times call for desperate measures on Slager’s part,” he said. “The video trumps whatever he can create or come up with. He was caught; it was on video.”

Slager’s attorney, Andy Savage, did not respond to a request for comment on the court filing.

CNN’s Tristan Smith and Dana Ford contributed to this report.