Michael Slager, the former cop who shot and killed Walter Scott after a traffic stop, will avoid a federal civil rights trial by accepting a plea deal, according to CNN.
Slager’s charges stemmed from an April 2015 incident in Charleston, South Carolina. After pulling over Walter Scott for a broken tail light, Scott attempted to flee the scene on foot. Eventually, as was seen in video taken by a passerby, Slager draws and fires eight times, hitting Scott several times in the back. After video of the shooting surfaced, Slager was fired and charged with murder. However, after testifying that he feared for his lived at the time, the case ended in a mistrial when the jury couldn’t agree on a verdict after deliberating for 22 hours.
Slager’s guilty plea comes a week before civil rights trial in Charleston’s Federal court was set to begin. In pre-trial hearings, a federal judge ruled that jurors would be able to see the shooting video. However, per the plea agreement, Slager will plead to a federal charge of excessive use of force, and South Carolina will drop all other charges against Slager and not seek a retrial in his murder case.
Justin Bamberg, an attorney representing Scott’s family during the initial murder trial, spoke to ThinkProgress after a mistrial was declared. He called it a “delay in justice,” and said, “what’s done in the dark often comes to light.”