Ex-cop sentenced to 20 years for killing of unarmed black man

Ex-cop sentenced to 20 years for killing of unarmed black man

Michael Slager, a white officer in SC, was filmed shooting 50-year-old Walter Scott as he fled after Slager stopped him for having a broken brake light in April 2015.

Ironically, Slager himself worked as a fireman in the Coast Guard: The Baltimore Sun notes that he enlisted in January 2003 and served at Coast Guard Station Cape Canaveral until his discharge exactly six years later in 2009.

In April 2015, Slager had pulled over Walter Scott because of a broken brake light on his Mercedes-Benz. Scott had an outstanding warrant for missing child support payments. The video showed Scott running away from Slager and the officer firing eight times. A bystander caught the shooting on video.

But in May, he pleaded guilty to one federal charge of depriving Scott of his civil rights by using excessive force while carrying out his duties. "Judging by the history and characteristics of the defendant, he has lived a spotless life. It's a zero-sum game".

After the shooting, Slager picked up his stun gun and placed it next to Scott. Arguments about everything from the conditions in jail, to Slager's celiac disease, to his vulnerability to harassment were brought up in an effort to lessen the sentence.

"The killing of Walter Scott was not justified", Fishman said. "Now they are taking position that this was the heat of passion".

"Walter Scott is no longer with his family, and I'm responsible for that", Slager said, adding the Scott family would be forever changed without Walter.

"It was so surreal that this happened that morning", said Walter Scott's mom, Judy, while holding back tears.

"If you met him, you would like him", she said.

"I forgive you Michael Slager", she said.

She also told Slager she hoped he would repent for the killing and allow Jesus to come into his heart.

"No matter what sentence I give, neither the Scott family nor Slager family is going to like it or think it's right", the judge said in a Charleston courtroom.

"We feel like we have gotten justice today, we feel that we have moved on", Scott said.

"At the end of the day, there's another judge he has to face".

Activist and pastor Thomas Dixon says North Charleston has not taken enough responsibility for the shooting.

Scott's family later reached a $6.5 million settlement with the city of North Charleston.

"This is the most serious offense that we have", Norton said before announcing the sentence. "$1.57 is what led to his brother's death".

The North Charleston Police Department fired Slager after the footage surfaced publicly. "If there's nothing to hide, there is no reason to hide anything".

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement: "Officers who violate anyone's rights also violate their oaths of honour, and they tarnish the names of the vast majority of officers, who do incredible work". But the Scott family successfully pleaded for calm, asking everyone to let the justice system run its course.