Just seven days ago, a judge declared a mistrial in the Michael Slager case, when a jury could not reach a verdict. Slager is the former North Charleston police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed motorist. Today, the NAACP spoke out about the mistrial.
The President of the Charleston Chapter of the NAACP, Dot Scott, says, “We are encouraged by the news that Mr. Slager will stand trial again, but we also hope that jury selection is done in an unquestionably fair and transparent manner and in a way that the people will be able to see the process.”
The first part of jury selection was closed to the public and the media, and the NAACP says they believe the attorneys would have been more diligent in the selection process if they were under the scrutiny of the public.
Scott says, “We especially hope that the state will be diligent in seeing that there’s not even the slightest hint of impropriety in the selection of the next jury.”
The NAACP expressed concern about the information that has come out about the jurors in the past week.
She says, “It’s been reported since the mistrial that one juror had pending charges when he was seated as a juror and those charges were dismissed during his service as a juror. There’s also a rumor that another juror was a close relative of a former North Charleston police officer.”
And they are questioning the racial makeup of the jury.
Scott says, “The first jury was made up of eleven white jurors and one black juror, which is not representative of our community.”
Even though the Scott family has said they had no concerns with the jury’s demographics.
Scott says, “We are the NAACP, and we don’t represent just one family. We represent the community.”
Dot Scott says she approves of the jury makeup in the Dylann Roof federal trial, which is 12 white, 5 African American, and one classified as “other”. She says this closer represents the demographics of the community.