Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Former South Carolina Cop Sentenced To Prison For Death Of Walter Scott

Former South Carolina Cop Sentenced To Prison For Death Of Walter Scott

Former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in federal prison for the 2015 fatal shooting of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man.

Slager's family had a chance to talk too, and his mother said her son didn't shoot Scott in anger or prejudice.

Norton will announce Slager's sentence later Thursday. The sentencing guidelines call for 19 to 24 years in prison, the judge says, and he will make a more specific determination later. "Today, no matter what sentence I give, neither the Scott family nor the Slager family will think it is right". He could have found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

Scott's family members addressed the court after Norton's ruling.

The shooting erupted following a daytime traffic stop on April 4, 2015. Some shootings were justified; some were not. All of the most prominent Republican elected officials in SC, where the shooting took place, condemned Slager as a criminal.

The video, shot by an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who was passing by the vacant lot where the shooting took place, showed Slager coolly taking aim and firing eight shots at Scott, 50, as he fled.

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.

Toys for Tots launches annual drive
The program reaches 792 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Since older kids' needs often are overlooked, please consider donating for those ages 12 to 18.

In a wrought courtroom scene, Scott's mother, Judy, told Slager that she forgives him for her son's killing. However, he was not allowed to introduce what was specifically said during the video to the jurors.

Slager pleaded guilty in May to violation of civil rights by acting under the color of law in Scott's killing. In this case, the abuse was the killing of Scott.

Michael Slager (right) walks from the Charleston following a mistrial previous year.

The defense said that North Charleston's homicide rates have gone up following the possible chilling effect of Slager's 2016 state murder charges.

A state murder trial ended last December with a hung jury, and state prosecutors dropped the murder case in exchange for the plea on the federal charge. When Slager goes back to his patrol vehicle, Scott opens the door and runs. Slager chased him for 200 yards and, then, the two men scuffled.

The defense is arguing that Scott grabbed Slager's stun gun and had an altercation with him on the ground, which can not be clearly seen in the bystander's video.

Like this: