NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The former police officer arrested for the shooting death of Walter Scott is out of jail as of Monday night.
On Monday afternoon, a judge granted Michael Slager a $500,000 surety bond.
Ever since he was arrested back in April, Michael Slager’s attorneys say he has been in solitary confinement inside the Al Cannon Detention Center in North Charleston.
Slager is now out of jail and will be able to spend the next 10 months with his family as he awaits trial for killing Walter Scott.
On Monday, Slager told Circuit Judge Clifton Newman, “Your honor, I hope you carefully consider and allow me a reasonable bond to work on my case. I served in the military, honorably, and the police department my whole life.”
After 273 days in jail, Michael Slager spoke up and asked circuit judge Clifton Newman to release him on bond.
“I don’t consider myself a danger to the community or a flight risk at all. I look forward to going to court and clearing my name. Thank you,” said Slager.
More than a dozen people showed up in court today to support Slager.
Defense attorney Andy Savage asked them to stand and show the judge the ties he has to the community.
Many of Slager’s family members were also there including his parents and wife.
Judge Newman said, “These are difficult issues; these are excruciating issues for a court to have to consider.”
In court, attorney Andy Savage said Slager’s celiac disease has worsened.
However, the biggest reason why the judge says he granted bond is due to the late trial date.
Because Solicitor Scarlett Wilson is prosecuting Dylann Roof during the Emanuel AME case in July, Slager’s trial date isn’t until October 31st.
The judge says it would be unnecessary to keep Slager in jail for that long, especially since he’s assumed innocent until proven guilty.
Inside the courtroom, members of the Scott family pleaded with the judge to keep him in jail. Walter Scott Sr. said, “But if Mr. Slager, if you let him out, he’s going to go home and look at his wife and look at his children…I feel like he should stay right where he’s at so he can feel the pain that I feel.”
After the bond announcement was made, a Scott family attorney, Justin Bamberg, urged the community to remain peaceful. Bamberg told News 2, “What I want everybody watching to understand is this is just another step in the process and like every process, it has to run its course. Doing any damage to property or to hurt an innocent individual is not doing anything to help the Scott family; it’s not doing anything that’s going to have an effect on the criminal trial process – the only thing that that can do is land you where office Slager is right now.”
The conditions of the bond require Slager to stay inside his home under house arrest, forbid him from leaving the state of South Carolina, and forbid him from having any contact with the Scott family.
On Monday night, Elder James Johnson, president of the S.C. National Action Network, said he plans on holding a press conference Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. outside of the Al Cannon Detention Center in North Charleston. Johnson said he expects members of the Charleston Branch NAACP, the Coalition of People United to Take Back the Community, and the local Black Lives Matter to attend.
As of Monday night, only NAN was confirmed for the press conference.