After the death of Walter Scott - a black man shot in the back during a traffic stop - tensions have continued to run high. Scott's killer, cop Michael Slager, was indicted on charges of murder, and there seemed to be some hope for some vindication. Then, the news of a mistrial following the jury's deliberation caused another round of frustration and distrust in the system. Now it has come to light that the jury foreman, the person chosen to speak and represent the group, has had felony charges dropped throughout this ordeal.
Early on during the deliberations, it was reported that the jury "signaled they were within one vote" from unanimously declaring Slager guilty of murder. The jury consisted of 11 whites and 1 black person, and the lone black man - Dorsey Montgomery - is at the center of this controversy.
According to The Root, Montgomery was charged with breach-of-trust with fraudulent intent last year. These charges can hold a sentence up to five years in federal prison. Not only were the charges mysteriously dropped just three weeks into trial - on November 17 - but it was also the same exact date that Montgomery was given the duty of foreman juror. No further information was given for the action besides "per statute"...whatever that means.
All of this is rather odd given the fact that felons are not allowed to serve on juries, and therefore, you would think a possible felon would be weeded out of the fray during the jury appointing process.
In an interview, Montgomery replied to the confusion by saying, "I’m a big boy. Whatever transpired transpired. What happened happened. Whatever was done was done.” Hmmm...
Meanwhile, Slager's defense attorney said they knew about Montgomery's charges but decided to keep him on the jury, as the only black person, and as the entire group's representative, with a felony charge currently pending against him. Sounds like a good idea, right? Yeah, no.
Well, while appearing on The View, Montgomery contends that he was not the juror who held up the anonymous vote. “He just had his own convictions,” Montgomery said, “and I’ll leave that right there."
Not only did he say that race wasn't a factor in the courtroom (oh), he also added that they all agreed that voluntary manslaughter was the better fit (and the lesser charge), but then there was still no conviction made on that account either so... I'm confused. Are you?
This sounds... sketchy. But I'm just tired at this point. You can watch his full interview below.
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