Mistrial declared in police officer murder trial

Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, center, is escorted from the courthouse during his murder trial at the Charleston County court in Charleston, S.C., Friday, Dec. 2, 2016. The case of a former South Carolina police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist is now before the jury. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – A mistrial has been declared in the trial of a South Carolina police officer charged with murder in the death of a black motorist.

Circuit Judge Clifton Newman declared the mistrial after a jury said Monday that it was unable to unanimously agree on a verdict for Michael Slager.

The judge had told jurors they could also consider a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.

Slager was standing trial for shooting 50-year-old Walter Scott to death in North Charleston after stopping him for having a broken taillight. Cellphone video taken by a bystander of the shooting was shown widely in the media and on the internet and sparked national outrage.

Race was never made a major issue at trial, even though Slager is white and Scott was black.

Jurors had deliberated more than 22 hours over four days.

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