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Mistrial Verdict in Walter Scott Killing by Police Sparks Anger, Outrage



‘A Legal Lynching’

Black Community and Supporters of Justice Outraged After Former Police Officer Who Shot and Killed Walter Scott Handed Mistrial Verdict by South Carolina Jury – Despite Video Evidence

After hours of deliberation, shocking video of the incident recorded by a bystander, and testimony that at times was contradictory from the former police officer’s charged with the murder who fired the fatal shots, a South Carolina jury deadlocked. Eleven were ready to convict, but one juror, identified only as a 50 year-old male, who has been quoted as saying he “cannot in good conscience consider a guilty verdict.” 

For Black Americans the declared mistrial is yet in another of a long line of missteps by the American justice system which disenfranchises them. It reinforces the principle that Black people’s daily encounters with police more often than not end in harassment, violence or death: Their lives don’t seem to matter, even when they’re being taken in front of millions of viewers.

It was a routine traffic stop in April of 2015 which quickly spiraled out of control. The white, North Charleston, SC police officer, 33-year old Michael Slager, had pulled 50-year old Walter Scott, a Black father of four, over for a broken ‘third brake light’ on the Mercedes Benz he was driving. The interaction between the two men escalated after Scott got out of his car and fled. Then in the version initially supplied to the public and media by North Charleston authorities, it was stated that Slager gave chase on foot, a physical altercation broke out, and Slager used lethal force to defend himself.

However, within three days an eyewitness came forward. A piece published by The Post & Courier newspaper on April 12, 2015, described what happened next: 

“On foot, Slager followed Scott down Craig Road, past a window-tinting shop and a lot behind a pawnshop. To their right was a chain-link fence with barbed wire. At an opening in the fence, Scott turned right, and so did Slager. At least one witness saw the pursuit.

Feidin Santana was on the alley-like road that paralleled the vacant lot. He took that route every day he went to work at a nearby barbershop. When he saw the pursuit, he decided to follow them. He heard the zapping sound of the Taser. He would later tell reporters that Scott seemed to be trying to get away from the Taser.

He pressed record on his cellphone. He twisted it sideways, and then steadied it as Michael Slager, a few yards away, pulled his Glock 21 from his holster.”

Santana, who initially was too frightened to release the video eventually went to a local media outlet which then broadcast it, and posted it online causing it to go viral.

The evidence revealed on Santana’s cellphone video was crystal clear: It graphically showed that Slager opened fire on Scott at a distance, striking him repeatedly in the back. Scott was unarmed and contrary to Slager’s statements given to investigators afterwards, Scott did not have possession of the officer’s Taser. In fact, Slager appeared to toss the device on the ground next to Scott moments after shooting him.

Within hours of the video’s release, Slager was fired, arrested and charged with murder.

One prominent member of the Black North Charleston, South Carolina community where the Scott killing took place, speaking confidentially to NCRM, referred to the mistrial as yet another miscarriage of justice, “a legal lynching.” 

He pointed out the December 3, Editorial Board of The New York Times editorial in the paper’s Sunday Review section to further illustrate his point.

The Times‘ board, writing about a supplement to the study, “Lynching in America,” released by the Equal Justice Initiative, had stated:

“The time when African-Americans were publicly hanged, burned and dismembered for insisting on their rights or for merely talking back to whites is nearer in history than many Americans understand. The horror of these crimes still weighs heavily on black communities in the South, where lynching memories are often vivid. The anguish is made worse by the realization that some of the killers are still alive and may never be prosecuted.”  

“This is no different.” he told NCRM. “The mentality that fostered the environment in American society which allowed for the Black community to be terrorized by lynching back then continues today by allowing for the police to be able to shoot black men with impunity.” 

While he acknowledged that although the jurors, eleven white and one Black, were considering both murder and manslaughter charges against Slager, the problem was that one juror. Even though his eleven other peers decided that the actions were unlawful, the holdout obviously didn’t view Slager’s actions as criminal.

“That is the attitude – right there, it’s in front of him and he still does not see the crime – it’s because it’s just another Black criminal and a cop trying to do his job. There’s no real change. This is the same mindset that there’s always been. What about next time? Maybe it will be two or three jurors.”

Prosecutors have stated that they will retry the case, an announcement that has been met with skepticism in the Black community in North Charleston and elsewhere.

Lecia Brooks, director of outreach for the Southern Poverty Law Center responded, telling NCRM:

“This is a case where an unarmed black man pulled over for a faulty brake light was fatally shot while running away. It is obvious to anyone who sees the video that Walter Scott posed no threat to the officer involved. We don’t believe that justice has yet been done and we are glad that the state of South Carolina isn’t giving up.”

In statement released Monday, South Carolina’s Republican Governor Nikki Haley expressed her faith in the system and applauded the prosecutor’s decision. 

“It is my understanding that there will be, as quickly as possible, a new trial where the Scott family and all of South Carolina will hopefully receive the closure that a verdict brings,” Haley wrote. “Justice is not always immediate, but we must all have faith that it will be served – I certainly do. I urge South Carolinians – in Charleston and across our state – to continue along the path we have walked these last two years: a path of grace, faith, love and understanding. That is who we are, and who I know we will continue to be.”


Brody Levesque is the Chief Political Correspondent for The New Civil Rights Movement.
You may contact Brody at 

Image: Screenshot via ABC News/Twitter 

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Bill Barr Slams Trump: DOJ Not ‘Conducting a Witch Hunt’ – ‘He Jerked Them Around’ – ‘No Excuse for What He Did’



Bill Barr, once Donald Trump‘s favorite attorney general and the one who was seen as his “faithful protector and personal henchman” for his “willingness to enable Trump’s darkest impulses,” came out swinging against his former boss Tuesday, refuting his “witch hunt” claims, and saying the ex-president “jerked” DOJ around over hundreds of classified and top secret documents he refused to return.

“I think if based on the facts, as the facts come out, I think over time, people will say that this is not a case of the Department of Justice, you know, conducting a ‘witch hunt,'” Barr told CBS News Tuesday, ahead of what many believe is an impending indictment on what experts say could include charges of obstruction of justice and charges under the Espionage Act.

“In fact,” Barr continued, praising his former agency, “they approached this very delicately, with deference to the President, and this would have gotten nowhere had the President just returned the documents.”

Instead, Barr said, Trump “jerked them around for a year and a half. And the question is, did he deceive them? And if there’s evidence of that, I think people will start to see that this says more about Trump than it does the Department of Justice.”

The ex-president who is once again running to retake the Oval Office, Barr says, is “so egotistical that he has this penchant for conducting risky, reckless acts to show that he can sort of get away with it.”

READ MORE: Will Santos Choose Jail? Judge Rules Names of Persons Who Provided His Half-Million Dollar Bond Must Be Made Public

“It’s part of asserting his his, his ego, and he’s done this repeatedly at the expense of all the people who depend on him to conduct the public’s business in an honorable way. And, you know, we saw that with both impeachments, and there’s no excuse for what he did here.”

Referring to what many believe is an impending indictment over the classified documents he removed from the White House and refused to return, Barr added, “I’ve said for a while that I think this is the most dangerous legal risk facing the former president. And if I had to bet I would bet that it’s near.”

He said DOJ would not try to indict “if there’s not enough evidence, but from what I’ve seen, there’s substantial evidence there.”

But true to form, Barr also defended his former boss.

Whether what Trump’s done is “a crime or not remains to be seen,” he said, while refusing to weigh in on whether or not he thinks Trump “deceived” DOJ.

Later in the interview, Barr went full-force on supporting Trump’s claims that the Russia investigation was a hoax.

“I went into the administration halfway through, and I did it at a time where I felt he was being treated unfairly on the Russia gate thing. I thought that was, you know, turned out to be I think a big lie,” Barr said.

“And I felt that he was the duly elected president and he deserved a chance to conduct his administration. And I went in because I thought I could help stabilize things and also have the administration conducted in an appropriate way. And as I felt the idea that the election was stolen was a big lie.”

READ MORE: ‘Isn’t There a Beach in Mexico Waiting for You?’: Cruz Mocked for Claiming Garland Will Indict Trump Over SCOTUS Seat Loss

And despite it all, despite everything that has come out about Trump’s actions and alleged actions, despite the looming indictment – on top of a current indictment – Barr says if Trump is the Republican party’s nominee for president he will still support him.

“I don’t see myself not supporting the Republican candidate,” Barr said.

Taking a swing at President Joe Biden, Barr said neither the current nor the former president are “fit for the office.”

“But if I’m confronted with that choice, I have to go with policy, who’s closest to me on policy,” regardless of who might be convicted of breaking the law, including on our national secrets.

Watch a clip from the interview below or at this link.


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Will Santos Choose Jail? Judge Rules Names of Persons Who Provided His Half-Million Dollar Bond Must Be Made Public



A district magistrate judge Tuesday afternoon ruled the names of the three people who put up the $500,000 bond for U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) must be made public. Santos, under indictment on 13 federal charges including money laundering, wire fraud, theft of public funds, and lying to Congress, has said he would rather go to jail than allow the names to be released to the public.

Santos pleaded not guilty and was released on a $500,000 bond on May 10. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Law & Crime News’ Adam Klasfeld reports, “The identities of Rep. George Santos’s bond co-signers must be UNSEALED, a magistrate judge ruled. Santos has a brisk schedule for an appeal.”

Santos has until Friday at noon to appeal, or the documents and bond will be unsealed.

READ MORE: ‘Isn’t There a Beach in Mexico Waiting for You?’: Cruz Mocked for Claiming Garland Will Indict Trump Over SCOTUS Seat Loss

The embattled New York Republican Congressman’s legal team has argued “the three people who helped provide Santos’ bond ‘are likely to suffer great distress, may lose their jobs, and God forbid, may suffer physical injury,'” CBS News reported Monday evening.

“There is little doubt that the suretors will suffer some unnecessary form of retaliation if their identities and employment are revealed,” the motion also says.

“My client would rather surrender to pretrial detainment than subject these suretors to what will inevitably come,” Santos’ attorney said in the filing.

CBS News adds that the House Ethics Committee is also requesting the names of the three people who helped the Congressman make bail be made public.

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‘Isn’t There a Beach in Mexico Waiting for You?’: Cruz Mocked for Claiming Garland Will Indict Trump Over SCOTUS Seat Loss



U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is being roundly mocked after claiming Attorney General Merrick Garland will indict Donald Trump because he “hates” the ex-president and because he is angry his early 2016 nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court was blocked.

“They hypocrisy is massive,” Sen. Cruz declared on Fox News Monday night. “And mark my words: I believe Merrick Garland will indict Donald Trump. He wants to indict Donald Trump because he hates Donald Trump. He hates him – he’s angry – Merrick Garland is angry that he wasn’t confirmed to the Supreme Court. he wants to indict him.”

Cruz, who has a law degree from Harvard, is wrong on the basic facts, and he’s being widely mocked for it.

As many are pointing out, first, Attorney General Garland appointed Jack Smith as Special Prosecutor. Smith, who was appointed as Acting U.S. Attorney by Donald Trump in 2017, will make the decision on whether or not to present charges to a grand jury. The grand jury, not Garland and not Smith, will make the decision on whether or not to indict Trump.

Also, whether or not Garland has any anger about not being confirmed by the U.S. Senate, that anger would rightly be pointed to then Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who took the unprecedented step of refusing to even allow a committee hearing to consider his nomination.

READ MORE: Jim Jordan Demands Merrick Garland Hand Over Documents Authorizing Special Counsel’s Trump Investigation

McConnell did that in early 2016, even before Trump was the GOP’s presidential nominee. Trump had nothing to do with blocking Garland’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This is dangerous,” warned foreign policy and intelligence expert John Sipher, who spent nearly three decades in the Central Intelligence Agency’s National Clandestine Service. “He knows what he’s doing and he’s risking violence.”

After Cruz’s Fox News appearance, he posted video of his own remarks and baselessly tweeted, “Merrick Garland is the most partisan Attorney General in American history. He has corrupted the DOJ, the FBI, and the machinery of government. And now, out of nothing but a sense of hatred and political retribution, Garland is trying to indict Trump.”

Later, on Tuesday he added, “Merrick Garland has corrupted the Department of Justice and effectively turned it into an arm of the Democratic National Committee. The FBI and DOJ want to protect and insulate Joe Biden and the Biden family’s corruption.”

None of his allegations have any basis in publicly-known fact.

Cruz came under fire in 2021 after advising Trump’s legal team during the ex-president’s second impeachment, even though he would also be a juror – and supposedly impartial – in Trump’s Senate trial. In December of 2020 Cruz told Trump he would “be happy” to argue a proposed Supreme Court lawsuit designed to keep Trump in power despite having lost the election one month earlier.

Author Cliff Schecter labeled Cruz’s claims on Fox News, “Complete horses*t, which is Ted’s brand.”

READ MORE: ‘This Is It, Make No Mistake’: ‘Nihilistic Moron’ Trump Heading for Another Indictment Says George Conway

“But, if true, Garland would be doing more re his SCOTUS rejection than @tedcruz did when Trump called his wife ugly,” he added. “Ted doesn’t get why Garland wouldn’t just make hostage video phone calls for Trump’s campaign.”

Historian and author Kevin M. Kruse: “The line that ‘they’re only indicting Trump for the crimes Trump clearly did because they hate Trump’ is pathetic when it comes from Trump himself, but Jesus Christ, it is twelve kinds of sad when it comes from one of his lickspittles.”

Reporter and award-winning columnist David Lazarus noted, “Republicans keep insisting Trump is being investigated and prosecuted because people in power hate him. That’s one theory. Or Trump is being investigated and prosecuted because he kept breaking the law.”

Lincoln Project co-founder Jennifer Horn, a former New Hampshire Republican State Committee chair, blasted Cruz.

“I’m sure it has nothing to do with classified documents or inciting an insurrection,” she said, referring to the two major portions of Smith’s investigation. And referring to Cruz’s infamous exit during a state-wide crisis when he hightailed out to Cancun, she asked: “Isn’t there a beach in Mexico waiting for you?”

Watch video of Cruz above or at this link.

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