(AURN) | A federal grand jury has handed down an indictment against the former North Charleston police officer charged in the shooting death of motorist Walter Scott who was seen on video running away during a traffic stop.
An attorney for relatives of a Black motorist who was killed by a white North Charleston police officer says the U.S. Justice Department is making history by indicting the former officer in the case.
Attorney Chris Stewart tells the Associated Press it's amazing that after all the cases over the past 20 years the federal government has decided to indict an officer.
Stewart, who represents the family of Walter Scott, says he thinks the Justice Department deems this a case the government can win, and in the process send a message to police departments nationwide.
34-year old Michael Slager is charged with violating civil rights law and misleading investigators in Walter Scott’s death.
The indictment alleges that Slager was acting with his authority as a policeman when he used unreasonable force — a violation of the Constitution — by shooting Scott five times from behind.
He also was indicted on counts of using a firearm in a violent crime and obstruction of justice after he told state investigators that Scott was coming at him with his own Taser when he fired. A video showed Scott running away.
A South Carolina grand jury indicted Scott last year. He's expected in court later today to face new charges.