TIME Crime

Murder Trial of South Carolina Cop Who Shot Walter Scott to Begin

Hearing Held For Charleston Police Officer Who Shot And Killed Walter Scott
Getty Images Former North Charleston officer Michael Slager is lead into court for a bond hearing at the Charleston County Court House September 10, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. Slager is charged with the murder of Walter Scott. Slager shot Scott in the back when Scott ran away during a traffic stop on April 4th in 2015.

On Monday, jury selection begins in the trial of a white police officer charged with the murder of a black man

Jury selection will begin on Monday in the murder trial of a former North Charleston police officer who shot and killed a black man during a traffic stop in 2015.

Michael Slager, 34, pleaded not guilty to the murder of 50-year-old Walter Scott, whose death was captured by a bystander’s cell phone video. Slager has claimed he felt threatened by Scott, who he says grabbed his stun gun during a struggle. The amateur video — frames of which were printed on TIME’s cover — showed Scott being shot in the back as he attempted to flee.

Though videos of police-involved killings have been published more frequently in recent years, it is less common for police officers to stand trial for the deaths. The case was one of many last year that focused attention on police brutality, particularly that directed towards the African American community.

According to Reuters, the jury pool includes 180 people who are expected to report to the Charleston County courthouse on Monday. The jury will not be sequestered, despite pleas from lawyers in the case, because the judge did not want to risk keeping people away on Election Day or the holidays.

The New York Times reports that the trial begins just a week before another racially charged trial is set to begin, that of Dylan Roof, the white supremacist who shot and killed nine churchgoers in Charleston in the summer of 2015.

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