Charleston NAACP officials criticize majority white jury on Michael Slager trial

November 4, 2016 GMT

Officials with the Charleston Branch NAACP spoke out Friday afternoon against the majority white makeup of the jury in the Michael Slager trial.

At a press conference outside the civil rights organization’s Columbus Street headquarters, Dot Scott, the branch’s president, said she and the rest of her organization are not criticizing the individual jurors or challenging the legality of the system.

“But history tells us that when it comes to the judicial system in our nation, state and community, what’s legal is not always right,” she said. “We can’t ignore the glaring and outrageous fact that those who killed Emmett Till, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin were acquitted by either all white or majority white juries or grand juries.”

Of the 12 jurors serving on the Slager trial, 11 are white and one is black.

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Scott further criticized the jury selection process saying that she wished Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson would have fought for a more diverse jury.

A jury of one’s peers should reflect the community, not the defendant’s race, she said.

“We hope for a just decision, in spite of the jury’s racial composition ... Our community, state and nation are waiting to see if that happens or whether this will lead to another in a string of dubious acquittals of police officers, in spite of the evidence,” Scott said.