CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the retrial of a South Carolina police officer charged with murder (all times local):
A prosecutor in South Carolina says she was stunned by an “off the cuff” remark she heard that President Donald Trump’s administration might consider dropping federal charges against a police officer also charged with murder in state court.
Solicitor Scarlett Wilson told reporters outside a courtroom Tuesday that she doesn’t know if it is a realistic possibility that federal charges against Michael Slager might be dropped. But she says she has to pay attention to what the president’s people say.
Authorities say Slager shot and killed black driver Walter Scott in the back as he ran from a traffic stop in North Charleston in April 2015. A judge ruled Tuesday that Slager’s retrial on a state murder charge will now start in August, three months after the federal case is set to start.
A South Carolina judge has delayed a fired police officer’s murder retrial until August, but said it can be moved up again if federal prosecutors drop their civil rights case against him in the shooting of an unarmed black motorist.
Media outlets report Circuit Judge Clifton Newman ruled Tuesday that Michael Slager’s state trial will now begin Aug. 28, not March 1.
That means Slager will next face a federal jury in May for allegedly violating Walter Scott’s civil rights by shooting him repeatedly in the back as he tried to flee a traffic stop in North Charleston in April 2015.
Solicitor Scarlett Wilson shared a concern that under President Donald Trump, the Justice Department might drop its case against Slager and other officers around the country.