Michael Slager’s case after murdering Walter Scott was deemed a mistrial on Monday when a jury couldn’t come to a unanimous decision. This left a lot of questions in the air, the most prominent being what exactly has to happen for a police officer to be found guilty of killing a person of color? Because shooting them in the back while they run away, on camera, clearly isn’t it.
To explain how the perplexing result of the trial came to be, jury foreman Dorsey Montgomery II appeared on TODAY on Thursday.
“We had one individual who was just deadlocked that he wasn’t changing, yet we had five individuals who were undecided,” he said.
While it’s easy to focus on the one juror who wrote the judge a letter on Friday saying, “I cannot in good conscience consider a guilty verdict,” it should be noted that multiple jurors were on the fence as well.
“I believe we could have deliberated just a little bit more to see if we could sway that particular juror and get those who were undecided to make a decision,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery, who was the only black juror compared to 11 white jurors, admit that race may have play a role in the trial.
“Due to the society that we live in, race will always be a factor,” he said before clarifying that he didn’t believe it played a factor in “the majority” of jurors decisions.
Montgomery was also in the news for his own legal troubles recently, as he had his charges of breach of trust with fraudulent intent dropped while he was serving as jury foreman for Slager’s trial.
“So I had a past,” Montgomery told Live 5 News.”I was working at another place. I was discounting items, trying to help individuals in my ignorance. And so I didn’t do it the right way. And so because I didn’t do it the right way, I broke the law.”
Photo Credit: Today