Former SC Officer Gets 20 Years In Prison For Killing Walter Scott

Walter during a news conference after former police officer Michael Slager was sentenced to 20 years in prison

The North Charleston Police Department fired Slager after the footage surfaced publicly.

Slager, who has been jailed in Charleston County since he entered his guilty plea in early May, was a patrolman in North Charleston, the third-largest city in SC, when he stopped Scott for a broken taillight in 2015.

Former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for the deadly shooting of unarmed black man Walter Scott.

A federal judge handed down the sentence for Michael Slager on Thursday. The state retrial and federal trial were slated to take placed this year, but Slager pleaded guilty to violating Scott's civil rights in federal court.

What it did capture, though, is Slager repeatedly firing at Mr Scott as he was attempting to run away.

SC has been aggressive in charging white officers who shoot unarmed black people.

Andy Savage said Thursday he felt it would be appropriate for Michael Slager to receive about 19 years in prison for shooting a black motorist to death in 2015.

A former police officer in the United States has been sentenced to 20 years for second-degree murder after fatally shooting an unarmed African-American motorist in the back.

Walter Scott's mother, Judy, holds up a photo of him as she walks to the media tents pitched outside of the courthouse in downtown Charleston.

"No matter what sentence I give, neither the Scott family or the Slager family is going to like it or think it is right", Norton told the court.

In arguing for a lighter sentence, Slager's attorneys told the judge that the former North Charleston officer and Scott fought on the ground and Scott reached for his stun gun during the struggle. "I'm not angry at you, Michael", he said in court. "Forgiveness is in my heart there and I pray for you that you would repent and let Jesus come into your life".

Slaged pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights offense. As part of the plea agreement reached in May, prosecutors dropped state murder charges.

"This is a tragedy that shouldn't have happened", U.S. District Judge David Norton said. In those two cases, the police officers involved in the incidents were cleared of wrongdoing despite raw video evidence that suggests otherwise, stoking frustration over police accountability and unconscious racial bias in the legal system.

The judge also found that Slager, 36, obstructed justice when he made statements to state police after the shooting.

"Your honor, I miss my dad so much I can't sleep at night", he said. Slager raised his pistol, pointed it at Scott's back, and fired eight shots. What's known as victim impact testimony is meant to help the judge weigh the personal implications a crime has had.



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