Homicide

Attorney for officer who fatally shot man after traffic stop tries to change public perception

  • Attorneys for Walter Scott's family, Justin T. Bamberg answers questions during a news conference after a bail hearing for former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. Slager is being held for the shooting of Walter Scott after a traffic stop. A judge reached no decision Thursday on whether to grant bail for Slager, a white former police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man following a traffic stop in coastal South Carolina. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

    Attorneys for Walter Scott's family, Justin T. Bamberg answers questions during a news conference after a bail hearing for former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. Slager is being held for the shooting of Walter Scott after a traffic stop. A judge reached no decision Thursday on whether to grant bail for Slager, a white former police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man following a traffic stop in coastal South Carolina. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)  (The Associated Press)

  • Attorney for Walter Scott's family, L. Chris Stewart answers questions during a news conference after a bail hearing for former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. Slager is being held for the shooting of Walter Scott after a traffic stop. A judge reached no decision Thursday on whether to grant bail for Slager, a white former police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man following a traffic stop in coastal South Carolina. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

    Attorney for Walter Scott's family, L. Chris Stewart answers questions during a news conference after a bail hearing for former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. Slager is being held for the shooting of Walter Scott after a traffic stop. A judge reached no decision Thursday on whether to grant bail for Slager, a white former police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man following a traffic stop in coastal South Carolina. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)  (The Associated Press)

  • Walter Scott's brother Anthony Scott answers questions during a news conference after a bail hearing for former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. Slager is being held for the shooting of Walter Scott after a traffic stop. A judge reached no decision Thursday on whether to grant bail for Slager, a white former police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man following a traffic stop in coastal South Carolina. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

    Walter Scott's brother Anthony Scott answers questions during a news conference after a bail hearing for former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. Slager is being held for the shooting of Walter Scott after a traffic stop. A judge reached no decision Thursday on whether to grant bail for Slager, a white former police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man following a traffic stop in coastal South Carolina. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)  (The Associated Press)

A lawyer for a South Carolina police officer charged with murder after he was captured on video shooting a fleeing man in the back is trying to change the public's perception of what happened.

During a bail hearing Thursday, defense attorney Andy Savage said small amounts of cocaine were found in Walter Scott's system after he was killed April 4, and he suggested that Scott tried to take North Charleston officer Michael Slager's Taser and use it against him.

Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson called Slager an executioner who planted his Taser by Scott's body to try and cover up his actions.

Over the past five months, discussion of the case has been dominated by the cellphone video showing Scott running away and Slager shooting eight times at Scott's back.

The judge hearing the case said Thursday that he'll decide later whether to release Slager on bond.