The former South Carolina police officer who fatally shot a man in North Charleston back in 2015 has been sentenced to twenty years behind bars.
Michael Slager has been sentenced to twenty years for the shooting of 50-year-old Walter Scott, having pled guilty earlier this year to federal charges of civil rights violations in exchange for the dropping of the state’s murder charge, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Prior to the plea deal, he was charged with Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law, obstruction of justice, use of a firearm during a crime of violence and murder.
US District Judge David Norton said that the 36-year-old Slager “acted out of malice and and forethought, shooting dead an unarmed and fleeing Walter Scott,” and that his “actions were disproportional (sic) to Scott’s misconduct.”
Scott’s mother, Judy Scott, reportedly forgave Slager for the killing after he turned to her and silently mouthed “I’m sorry.”
In April of 2015, Scott was pulled over by Slager for a broken tail light on his Mercedes-benz. When Scott ran for some inexplicable reason, Slager gave chase. Following a scuffle, Slager opened fire as Scott ran away, shooting him five times in the back.
The North Charleston Police Department fired Slager after the footage surfaced publicly.
According to NPR, Slager claimed that Scott had wrested his stun gun from him, and that he fired his gun in self-defense.