Hanahan police are investigating after a fire was reported Friday night at Michael Slager’s Hanahan address.
A neighbor reportedly put out a small fire at the home around 9:20 p.m. on Yeamans Hall Road, Hanahan Police Capt. Michael Fowler said.
Two people dressed in black were seen running from the scene, he said. A neighbor extinguished the flames, Fowler said, and minor damage was reported in the incident. Charleston County sheriff’s deputies are assisting in the investigation.
The house has been vacant since Slager, a former North Charleston police officer, was arrested on a murder charge in connection with the shooting death of Walter Scott in April.
Demonstrators gathered earlier in the day at North Charleston City Hall to protest a judge’s decision to release Slager Monday from the Charleston County jail on $500,000 bail.
During a news conference the day after Slager’s release, one protester told reporters that there would be no peace in the city if the 9th Circuit Solicitor’s Office didn’t appeal the judge’s order. Asked to elaborate on what could occur, the protester told reporters to “wait and see.”
In an interview, James Johnson, the South Carolina president for the civil rights group National Action Network, discouraged the public from assuming the fire was the work of protesters. All demonstrations have been peaceful so far, he stressed as evidence.
“(Slager) has a lot of enemies. It doesn’t have to be the protesters out there doing something to his home,” Johnson said.
If an investigation reveals that a protester did set the fire, Johnson said “they should be arrested. They should be put in jail.”
A portion of the home’s vinyl siding was damaged in the fire. Charleston County Sheriff’s Maj. Eric Watson confirmed that an incendiary device in the form of a glass cocktail bottle was found at the scene.
An arson investigation is currently underway, Fowler said.
Reach Christina Elmore at 843-937-5908.
Hanahan police are investigating after a fire was reportedly set Friday night at Michael Slager’s former home.×
Michael Slager (left) stands as one of his attorneys, Cameron Blazer, guides him toward the podium on Friday before the former North Charleston police officer spoke in circuit court for the first time. Leroy Burnell/Staff×