Michael Slager’s Lawyers Seek Dismissal of Federal and State Charges

Attorneys for Michael Slager, the former North Charleston, South Carolina police officer who shot to death unarmed motorist Walter Scott following a traffic stop, have filed motions in both federal and state courts seeking the dismissal of all charges against their client.

On Monday, February 13, 2017, Slager’s attorneys representing him for the scheduled federal trial that include charges of the use of excessive force filed a motion asking that all charges in the case be dismissed against him because not only is it “crushing and unfair” that Slager should face both state and federal charges simultaneously, but that the federal prosecution represents a burden on the criminal justice system.

In the legal brief filed on February 13, Slager’s attorneys wrote:

“The crushing financial, emotional, physical, and time requirements necessary to defend such a case amount to a violation of the federal constitution. No legitimate ends of justice are served and the criminal process is burdened with an unnecessary and inefficient prosecution.”

The motion for dismissal of charges against Slager was only one of a number of motions filed with the federal court, who on that same day established May 9, 2017, as the day jury selection is set to begin in the federal trial, with jury selection to take place in Columbia, South Carolina. The former police officer’s attorneys also filed motions to prevent the prosecution from using statements made by Slager to investigators just days after the April 4, 2015, incident, arguing that investigators lied to Slager and his attorney before he gave those statements that no video of the incident was available.

The statements Michael Slager made to investigators that day contradicted what could be seen on a video of the incident taken by a bystander. A motion has also been filed by the defense to prevent prosecutors from using that video in the federal trial.

Prosecutors filed their own “wish list” of motions to the federal court, asking that the defense not be able to use the fact that the North Charleston Police Department was short-staffed on the day Walter Scott was shot and killed.

Defense attorneys in the upcoming re-trial of Michael Slager for the charge of the murder of Walter Scott have filed a motion seeking the dismissal of all charges against Slager at the state level, arguing that trying Slager a second time after his first trial ended in a hung jury violates his constitutional rights.

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