Former officer charged in death of black motorist back in federal court

FILE - This April 7, 2015, file photo provided by the Charleston County, S.C., Sheriff's Office shows Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager. A grand jury in Charleston on Monday, June 8, 2015, affirmed the state of South Carolina's murder charge against Slager, who is accused of shooting an unarmed black man trying to run from a traffic stop. (AP Photo/Charleston County Sheriff's Office, File)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – A white former police officer charged in the shooting death of a black motorist is returning to a federal courtroom in South Carolina.

U.S. District Judge David Norton has set a Friday hearing on the civil rights charges brought against former North Charleston officer Michael Slager. It’s Slager’s first appearance in federal court since his arraignment in May.

The federal charges stem from the shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott in April 2015. A bystander’s recording of Scott’s shooting reignited the national debate about the treatment that blacks face at the hands of white police officers.

Slager faces a murder charge in state court in a trial set to begin in October.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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