The North Charleston, South Carolina police officer who shot an unarmed Black man eight times as he was running away was granted a $500,000 bond Monday afternoon, NBC News reports.
Michael Slager, 34, was also given a trial date of Oct. 31. State Circuit Judge Clifton Newman, who expressed concern that it was taking too long to bring Slager to trial, approved the bond, saying the former police officer could go free on house arrest, the report notes.
Slager was indicted by a grand jury in the killing of Walter Scott due in large part to a graphic video that showed Slager shooting the 50-year-old — who he was attempting to pull over in a traffic stop last April — and dropping an item that looked like a Taser next to the man’s body.
The video was yet another example of the excessive force police officers often use on members of the Black community, fueling weeks of protests and demonstrations to denounce police violence.
Because Slager’s trial date isn’t until October, lawyers argued that keeping him in jail was akin to punishing him for the crime without a conviction. Slager was originally denied bond in September of last year. His trial has been pushed back to give precedence to the trial of Dylann Roof, the self-proclaimed White supremacist who shot and killed nine parishioners at a historic Black church because of their skin color.
The massacre occurred in the same state just months after Scott was shot to death.
Under a typical surety bond, Slager would have to put up 10 percent of the order — in this case, $50,000 of personal funds — to engage a third party to guarantee he will show up for court appearances. Newman said Slager would be able to leave his home only for court hearings and to visit his attorneys, doctors or church.
Last fall, Slager filed a lawsuit claiming the police association that promised to pay his legal bills after he was arrested and charged in the shooting have failed to do so.