Cop Jailed For 20 Years For Killing Unarmed Black Man


A white police officer faces 20 years in prison after he fatally shot an unarmed black man in the back.

36-year-old Michael Slager – a former North Charleston officer from South Carolina – fired five bullets into the back of 50-year-old Walter Scott, who had reportedly tried to run away during a routine traffic stop back in April 2015.

Slager had pulled Scott over on account of a broken brake light.

Footage captured by witness Feidin Santana showed the moment Slager shot Scott from about 17 feet away. This graphic video went viral, and was also played during the hearing.

Experts have suggested how without this footage, Slager might not have been fired or faced charges. Scott’s family are reported to have thanked Santana for his role in bringing Slager to justice.

Slager originally appeared in 2015 in a state court, charged with murder and indicted on federal civil rights charges. However, this ended with a mistrial during 2016.

Slager pled guilty to using excessive force against Scott back in May, as opposed to facing another jury. It was then up to U.S. District Judge David Norton to determine whether the crime was murder or manslaughter.

Slager has now been sentenced by Judge Norton, who ruled the killing as being second-degree murder.

Slager was also found guilty of obstruction of justice, after giving a false account of the shooting to state police investigators.

Judge Norton spoke of how Slager had lived a ‘spotless life’ before the murder, stating: ‘regardless, this is a tragedy that shouldn’t have happened.’

According to the BBC, Slager told the court:

I wish this never would have happened.

I wish I could go back and change events, but I can’t and I am very sorry for that.

After the sentencing was passed, both sides of the trial wept, according to ABC News.

Scott’s mother Judy Scott reportedly looked Slager in the eye and addressed him directly:

Forgiveness is in my heart,

I pray for you, that you would repent and let Jesus come in your life.

Scott’s brother Anthony also spoke of forgiveness:

I’m not angry at you, Michael,

Michael, I forgive you, and Michael, I do pray for you now and for your family, because we’ve gone through a traumatic time.

During the trial, Slager’s lawyers argued how the former officer had shot Scott because he thought he had got hold of his stun gun.

Slager’s lawyer Andy Savage has said:

There’s nothing in Michael Slager’s background, from birth to today, of any racial animus or any harassment of minority members of the community.

The defence team have stated Slager has accepted responsibility for shooting Scott.

The Scott family’s lawyer Justin Bamberg has stated:

I think everybody’s just ready to close this chapter of life and start the next chapter. But all of them end the same way, and that is that Walter’s not here.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Walter Scott.