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Ex-Cop Gets 20 Years in Prison for Shooting

Image: Ex-Cop Gets 20 Years in Prison for Shooting
Michael Slager, at right, walks from the Charleston County Courthouse under the protection from the Charleston County Sheriff's Department in 2016. Slager was sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting an unarmed black motorist to death in 2015. (Mic Smith/AP)

Thursday, 07 Dec 2017 04:01 PM

A white former South Carolina police officer has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting an unarmed black motorist to death in 2015.

A federal judge handed down the sentence for Michael Slager on Thursday. Slager pleaded guilty to violating Walter Scott's civil rights by unjustly shooting him in the back five times as he was running away from a traffic stop.

In arguing for a lighter sentence, Slager's attorneys told the judge that the former North Charleston officer and Scott fought on the ground and Scott reached for his stun gun during the struggle.

A bystander's cellphone video didn't capture the struggle, but did show Slager firing into Scott as he was running away.

U.S. District Judge David Norton said earlier that the shooting was second-degree murder and he would use a sentencing guideline range of about 19 to 24 years when he decides Slager's fate.

Slager pleaded guilty in May to violating Walter Scott's civil rights when he shot the unarmed, fleeing motorist.

During tearful statements in court, several members of Scott's family said they forgave the officer and were praying for him.

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A white former South Carolina police officer has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting an unarmed black motorist to death in 2015.
us, north charleston, police shooting
187
2017-01-07
Thursday, 07 Dec 2017 04:01 PM
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