In May, Michael Slager—the former cop who shot and killed an unarmed black male named Walter Scott in Charleston, South Carolina in April 2015, an incident that was caught on video — accepted a plea deal to a federal civil rights violation in order to avoid a retrial on murder charges. Slager was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison after U.S. District Judge David Norton followed sentencing guidelines and ruled that Slager committed second-degree murder and obstruction of justice.
Slager, then a police officer for the North Charleston Police Department, shot and killed Walter Scott — as eyewitness video showed — while he was fleeing on foot. Slager was fired from the NCPD for the shooting.
In the courtroom, Slager’s wife cried after the sentence was announced. Walter Scott’s mother told Slager that she forgave him. Rodney Scott, Walter Scott’s brother, said the death of Walter was the most terrible day of his life, and he hopes that Slater will “pay for his actions.”
During his original murder trial in South Carolina, Slager’s attorney said that he shot Walter Scott to save his own life. The case ended in a mistrial after jurors deliberated for over 22 hours. The federal sentencing comes after lengthy retrial testimony, including statements from Feiden Santana, the witness who recorded the shooting.
(Via ABC News)