Following Michael Slager mistrial, community asks 'What's next?'
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - The deadlocked jury in the murder trial of Michael Slager is still very fresh in the minds and hearts of many people watching the case closely. On Tuesday night, local civil rights leaders discussed the next steps.
"We are not going to allow Donald Trump or this trial to set us back 100 years," Elder James Johnson told a nearly full house at Charity Missionary Church.
Among those filling the pews was Walter Scott's family and Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon.
While there was much talk about why the trial ended the way it did, it also sparked a discussion on how best to move forward. The two-hour discussion focusd on one question: where do we go from here?
"There's no sense in asking questions if we don't have a direction so we hope tonight to collectively come up with a direction," Pastor Thomas Dixon said.
Led by a panel of civil rights leaders, the crowd shared passionate words about the Slager trial.
"When you are a person who has been through this, there are some things that do not require verbal communication," said Rev. Nelson Rivers.
Much of the focus was on the makeup of the jury and how it may have affected the outcome. There were 11 white jurors. Judge Clifton Newman named the lone black juror the foreman.
"We cannot allow a jury of this of this pair to be one black. We cannot sit home anymore and say we accept that in this next trial," Johnson said.
In the crowd, many people asked what to do now.
"I can't sit still, I can't do nothing, so I came here to find out what's next," said activist Paul Garbarini.
While there are still many questions, leaders with the National Action Network say there is direction.
"I think it's about to get answered. I think the people who showed up tonight, they want organized and they want to know where do we go from here and it starts with organizing," Johnson said.
Few questions were answered Tuesday night, but the National Action Network did announce a peaceful march on Jan. 17 that will start in North Charleston and end on the peninsula.
Meanwhile, the attorney for Walter Scott's family is still telling everyone they are not concerned about the mistrial. During an interview, Chris Stewart says Slager's time will come.
"It's shocking to the entire world that it wasn't a guilty verdict, but we're not worried. We are not worried. He'll face justice, it was just delayed," Stewart said.
Solicitor Scarlett Wilson has already said she plans to retry the case.