Washington - A police officer who shot dead a black motorist in South Carolina has been released on US$500,000 (S$712,000) bail, The Post and Courier newspaper reported Monday.
Michael Slager, who was dismissed from the North Charleston police force after the incident, had been held in jail since his arrest in April for killing 50-year-old Walter Scott.
Scott's death set off protests in Charleston and followed a string of highly publicized incidents of police violence against African Americans around the United States.
"The decision was met with gasps from Scott's family and with tears from Michael Slager's wife and parents, who appeared together for the first time in the downtown Charleston courtroom," the daily reported.
"Slager was released at 7 pm after posting US$500,000 bail, a jail spokesman said. Under a surety bond, he would have to pay US$50,000 of that total," it added.
Scott was shot in the back five times as he tried to run away from Slager on April 4 after being pulled over, reportedly for a broken brake light.
Slager, 33, was arrested and charged with murder three days after video of the incident emerged.