Ex SC cop Michael Slager sentenced to 19 to 24 years for shooting death of Walter Scott

CHARLESTON, S.C. (ABC NEWS) – Former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager has been sentenced to 19 to 24 years in prison for the deadly shooting of unarmed black man Walter Scott.

U.S. District Judge David Norton ruled today that the former officer committed second-degree murder and obstruction of justice. The judge’s sentencing decision comes after Slager, who is white, pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights offense.

Slager shot and killed Scott on April 4, 2015, while Slager was an officer with the North Charleston Police Department. Witness video that surfaced shortly after the encounter appeared to show the moment Slager fatally shot Scott as he ran away. He was fired from the force after the shooting.

Slager was charged in South Carolina with murder and pleaded not guilty. During the murder trial, Slager’s attorney said his client shot Scott because he was in fear for his life. In 2016, the case ended in a mistrial. The state retrial and federal trial were expected to take place this year, but instead, in May Slager pleaded guilty to violating Scott’s civil rights in federal court, ending the federal case against him and also resolving the state charges that were pending after the mistrial.

The judge’s ruling today followed several days of testimony, including from Feiden Santana, the witness who filmed the shooting, and Judy Scott, Walter Scott’s mother.


SOUTH CAROLINA (WJBF) – Today a federal judge is expected to announce how long Former North Charleston Office Michael Slager could spend in prison.

Slager pleaded guilty to violating Walter Scott’s civil rights when he shot him as he ran from a traffic stop in 2015.

In this image from video, Walter Scott struggles with police officer Michael Thomas Slager in Charleston, S.C., on April 4, 2015. Moments later, the video shows Slager firing eight shots at Scott’s back. Scott’s death was shown around the world and he became a symbol of the ongoing debate over police shootings of unarmed African-Americans. (Feidin Santana via AP Images)

Closing arguments in the sentencing hearing wrapped up Wednesday.

Both sides will call witnesses today before a judge pronounces the sentence.

Michael Thomas Slager
FILE – This April 7, 2015, file photo provided by the Charleston County, S.C., Sheriff’s Office shows Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager. A grand jury in Charleston on Monday, June 8, 2015, affirmed the state of South Carolina’s murder charge against Slager, who is accused of shooting an unarmed black man trying to run from a traffic stop. (AP Photo/Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, File)

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