SC Ex-Cop Who Shot Unarmed Man Is Out of Jail
Slager released on $500K bond after trial delay
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2016 12:33 AM CST
Former North Charleston police office Michael Slager is led into court, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015 in Charleston, SC.   (Grace Beahm/The Post And Courier via AP)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Michael Slager, the South Carolina police officer arrested, jailed, and fired for shooting unarmed black motorist Walter Scott, is out of custody for the first time since a few days after the April 4 shooting. A judge granted bail to the former North Charleston officer on Monday, saying he was troubled by delays that meant the trial will not take place until the fall, reports the Post and Courier. At the hearing, Scott's father was among those arguing against releasing Slager. He spoke about a widely seen video of the shooting. "Looking at the film that I saw, every time I look at it, it makes me cry," he said, per WCSC. "When I go down to the graveyard, the only thing I see there is a pot sticking in the ground with flowers in it ... If you let him out, he's gonna go home and look at his wife and children."

The judge, who set bail at $500,000, said he had to set Slager's trial date for Oct. 31 because the area's top prosecutor will be occupied before then with the Dylann Roof trial, reports the Post and Courier, which notes the judge took into account a defense attorney's argument that keeping Slager behind bars so long before trial would be punishing an innocent man—especially since Slager is gluten-intolerant and reacting badly to the jail diet. Slager, who will be under house arrest until the trial and is barred from contacting any members of the Scott family, was released Monday night after posting bond, NBC News reports. (In October, North Charleston's city council voted unanimously on a settlement with the Scott family.)