A South Carolina judge has refused to make the city of North Charleston turn over documents involving its $6.5 million settlement of a lawsuit with the family of a black motorist shot and killed by a white city police officer.

News outlets report that Judge Clifton Newman refused to make the city release the material during a hearing Thursday.

Attorneys for former officer Michael Slager had asked for the documents to help prepare his defense. Slager is charged with murder in the April 2015 shooting death of Walter Scott. His trial begins next month.

City attorneys argued the documents were protected by attorney-client privilege.

A cellphone video showed Scott being shot several times in the back as he ran from a traffic stop.