Ex-cop gets 20 years in killing
The former South Carolina police officer who shot and killed Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, following a traffic stop was sentenced Thursday to 20 years behind bars in a federal case stemming from the shooting.
Michael Slager, who had been an officer with the North Charleston police, was charged with murder in state court and indicted on federal civil rights charges after the shooting in 2015. His murder trial ended with a deadlocked jury last year, and prosecutors had vowed to retry Slager in state court.
But earlier this year, Slager pleaded guilty to a single federal civil rights charge as part of a plea deal that resolved both cases. A judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison, according to The Associated Press, which had a reporter at the sentencing.
Under the terms of the plea agreement announced in May, Slager pleaded guilty to one count of violating Scott’s rights under color of law, and prosecutors said they would push for a judge to apply sentencing guidelines for seconddegree murder and obstruction of justice. Slager could have faced a life sentence, but prosecutors also said as part of the plea deal that they would recommend that his sentence be reduced due to his “acceptance of responsibility.”
Scott’s death in April 2015 became among the most highprofile police shootings in recent years due to graphic video that later emerged.