SC slay cop gets 20 years
A white former South Carolina police officer was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Thursday for fatally shooting an unarmed black motorist in the back in 2015, wrapping up a case that became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Attorneys for ex-North Charleston Officer Michael Slager said he shot 50-year-old Walter Scott in selfdefense after the two fought and Scott grabbed Slager’s stun gun. They said race didn’t play a role in the shooting and Slager never had any “racial animus” toward minorities.
Still, Slager (right) pleaded guilty in federal court to violating Scott’s civil rights. As part of the plea agree- ment reached in May, prosecutors dropped state murder charges. A yearr ago, a state judge declared a mistrial when jurors dead locke deadlocked in that case.
“This is a tragedy thatat shouldn’t have happened,” US District Judge Davidd Norton said.
A bystander recordedd the shooting (above) on a cellphone, and it was shared around the world, set-setting off protests across thethe US as demonstrators said it was another egregiousus example of police officers mistreating African-Americans. me ric ans.
Slager fired at Scott’stt’s back from 17 feet away. Five of eight bullets hit Scott.