South Carolina

Officer tried for black man's death: I need public defender

FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, file photo, Michael Slager, right, walks from the Charleston County Courthouse under the protection of the Charleston County Sheriff's Department after a mistrial was declared for his trial in Charleston, S.C. Slager, a former South Carolina police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man running from a traffic stop, says he needs a public defender. (AP Photo/Mic Smith, File)

FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, file photo, Michael Slager, right, walks from the Charleston County Courthouse under the protection of the Charleston County Sheriff's Department after a mistrial was declared for his trial in Charleston, S.C. Slager, a former South Carolina police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man running from a traffic stop, says he needs a public defender. (AP Photo/Mic Smith, File)  (The Associated Press)

The former South Carolina police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man running from a traffic stop says he needs a public defender.

Michael Slager filed a motion on Friday saying his family of five lives under the poverty line. Slager was fired and charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Walter Scott following an April 2015 traffic stop in North Charleston.

Slager's current lawyer, Andy Savage, said in an email that a judge has to approve Slager's request, made in state court where his first murder trial ended last year with a hung jury. Prosecutors have said they would retry him, but no date has been set.

Savage still represents Slager in federal court, where he'll be tried on civil rights charges in May.