South Carolina Cop Who Shot Unarmed Walter Scott Grew Up in Mount Laurel

Michael Slager was charged with murder and denied bail. A federal investigation was announced on Wednesday.

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As the days go by since The Most Hated Man In America Right Now — aka North Charleston, South Carolina, cop Michael Slager, seen in his mugshot above — shot an unarmed black man in the back repeatedly, we’re learning that the 33-year-old accused murderer has roots in the Philadelphia area.

According to numerous reports, Slager graduated from Lenape High School in Medford in 2001. After that, he reportedly worked as a waiter at a restaurant called Ventura’s in Voorhees before joining the Coast Guard in 2003. A public records search indicates that Slager lived with family on Braddock Terrace in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, before relocating.

“He was a typical teenager,” says one neighbor who lived down the street from Slager in Mount Laurel. “My kids went to high school with him. There was nothing very unusual about him at the time. I hope there is a thorough investigation.”

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On Saturday, Slager encountered 50-year-old black man Walter L. Scott during what was described earlier this week by a Slager attorney as a “routine traffic stop.” That traffic stop turned into Slager firing his gun eight times at Scott’s back, as a bystander caught in a graphic video. Slager has claimed that Scott was reaching for the officer’s stun gun. While most videos of police shootings tend not to tell enough of the story, this one would seem to be pretty damning:

The police department has fired Slager, and he has been charged with murder and denied bail. Slager worked for the North Charleston Police Department for five years and was reportedly exonerated of a previous charge of excessive force.

“I have watched the video,” North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers told reporters at a press conference. “And I was sickened by what I saw. And I have not watched it since.”

A federal investigation was announced on Wednesday.

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