*Dorsey Montgomery, the foreman and lone person of color on Michael Slager‘s trial jury, told the TODAY Show on Thursday that most jurors saw “no malicious intent” in Slager’s fatal shooting of Walter Scott, an unarmed Black man.
Slager’s trial concluded in a mistrial on Monday after several jurors failed to come to a unanimous decision between convicting Slager of murder or manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt.
NY Daily News reports how Montgomery told Matt Lauer and Tamron Hall that he initially was set on the murder charge, but after further review of evidence and the defense’s claim that Slager was operating in self-defense, he decided otherwise.
“After we looked at the evidence and read the laws, and looked at the things that were presented to us by the judge, we had to come to find out that he didn’t do anything malicious. He had––manslaughter…. a brief disturbance and reason for that moment, so based on the law, that would be classified as manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter,” Montgomery said.
Many are wondering how the jurors concluded that there was nothing malicious about Slager shooting an unarmed man in the back as he ran away from what he perceived to be an impending threat — all of which was captured on video.
“Do you think race played a role in the deliberations and the outcome of this trial?” Lauer asked in the segment.
“Due to the society we live in, race will always be a factor, but at that point in time, I do believe that some jurors may have had that in mind, but the majority of them didn’t have anything in reference to race that may have played a factor in the decision,” Montgomery answered.
The footage of Walter Scott’s execution sparked national outrage, and Slager was fired from the force and charged with murder days after it was released.