The former South Carolina cop charged with murder for fatally shooting an unarmed black man as he ran away will remain in jail as his case moves toward trial.
A judge ruled Monday denying bond for Michael Slager, calling the former North Charleston police officer an "unreasonable danger to the community" if released.
Slager was charged with murder in April, just three days after Walter Scott was killed. Cell phone video that surfaced shortly after the killing showed Slager pulling his handgun out of his holster and firing several times as Scott ran in the opposite direction.
During a court hearing Thursday, Slager's attorney, Andrew Savage, argued that his client should be granted bond so he could be released pending the trial.
Slager, who is facing a possible sentence of 30 years to life in prison if convicted, has been held in county jail for the last five months without bail.
Savage argued Scott had alcohol and cocaine in his system at the time of the shooting, and that he at one point grabbed Slager's stun gun and pointed it at the 33-year-old officer, Reuters reported.
Savage also argued that Scott was pulled over partly because of a quota system established by the North Charleston Police Department that required officers to make at least three traffic stops per shift.
That allegation did not sit well with attorneys representing Scott's family.
"They are told to pull over people in the city of Charleston for anything they can think of," Chris Stewart, an attorney representing Scott's family, said at a news conference outside of court. "Every jaw dropped in the court room to hear this admission by officer Slager through his attorneys."
Dashcam video from Slager's patrol car shows the officer pull over a Mercedez-Benz because of a faulty brake light.
As Slager checked on Scott's identity, Scott is seen opening the car door and running away.
Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson opposed the motion for bond and argued in court that the cell phone video that recorded the deadly shooting showed the Taser was on the ground when Scott ran from Slager, WCSC reported.
Slager became "a firing squad and executed Walter Scott," and planted evidence to make the shooting look like self-defense, Wilson argued, according to the Post and Courier.
Judge Clifton Newman made no decision about bond Thursday, but said he would take the arguments into consideration and make a decision at a later time.
"This matter is deeply important and will be treated as such," he said, according to the Post and Courier.
Meanwhile, the revelation of a possible quota system for officers could play a role in the civil lawsuit that Scott's family has filed against Slager, the police department, and the city of North Charleston.
North Charleston police officials did not immediately return calls or emails seeking comment from BuzzFeed News.
South Carolina lawmaker Justin Bamberg, who is also representing Scott's family, said during a news conference after the court hearing Thursday that he would be submitting a bill to ban police quotas within the state.
Police quotas are illegal in several states.
Salvador Hernandez is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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Claudia Koerner is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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