The jury in the murder trial of former police officer Michael Slager, who shot and killed unarmed African American Walter Scott as he ran away, is at deadlock after a single juror indicated during dramatic scenes in court they were unwilling to find the 35-year-old guilty.
The jury, consisting of 11 white people and one black person, will now continue deliberations on Monday, drawing the monthlong trial in South Carolina into a fifth week. If their decision is not unanimous a mistrial will be declared, leaving prosecutors to decide whether to pursue a retrial.
The former North Charleston police officer has been charged with murder and manslaughter after shooting Scott, 50, five times from behind as he ran away with his back turned. The incident, which occurred in April 2015, was caught on video by a witness, propelling the case into the global spotlight.
The release footage has been cited by advocates as among the clearest evidence of the fatal consequences of racially biased policing in the US.
On Friday, after over 14 hours of deliberations, the jury’s foreman indicated in a note to South Carolina judge Clifton Newman that they would not be able to reach a unanimous decision.
“It is clear that jurors will not be able to come to consensus,” the note read.
The jury then returned a second time in the afternoon indicating it was still deadlocked, with a unanimous decision hinging on just one juror.