Columbia, SC (WLTX) – Words used by both Walter Scott and Michael Slager were the highlights of testimony from experts brought on by Slager’s defense team, during day two of the sentencing hearing.
A sentencing hearing is taking place this week in Charleston for Slager, the former North Charleston police officer sho shot and killed Scott in April of 2015 following a traffic stop. Earlier this year, Slager pleaded guilty to violating Scott’s civil rights.
The case made international headlines when a cell phone video of the shooting surfaced, and became a flashpoint in the ongoing debate about the use of force by police.
Slager faces life in prison and $250,000 in fines.
In court Tuesday, Forensic audio analyst David Hallimore testified that he heard Scott say “F*** the police” during the physical altercation with Slager. He also testified that he heard Slager say “Let go of my taser before I shoot you.” He could hear this with the help of audio enhancing equipment, but it was not able to be heard clearly in the courtroom.
Hallimore testified during the State’s murder trial in November of last year. However, he was not allowed to introduce what was specifically said during the video to the jurors.
The video that was shown in federal court had captions underneath, giving a transcript of what Slager and Scott said.
During the trial last November, the judge did not allow the captions to be seen by jurors, because the sound was not able to be heard without special equipment.
Forensic video expert Grant Fredericks also testified for the defense. He broke down the cell phone video frame by frame and explained that he could see that there was a fight between Scott and Slager, when they were on the ground.
He also testified that he could see the taser fall behind Michael Slager.
A 3-D expert testified for the defense that the taser could’ve landed behind Slager because Scott threw it there, or it fell and bounced behind him.
The federal prosecution hammered in the fact that Scott was running away when the first shot was fired and continued to run away until he fell.
Testimony is expected to continue Wednesday with possible testimony from Walter Scott’s son.