The former South Carolina police officer who fatally shot unarmed black man Walter Scott has been sentenced to 19 to 24 years in prison.
U.S. District Judge David Norton ruled today that Michael Slager committed second-degree murder and obstruction of justice, according to a report from ABC News. Prior to this, Slager had pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges as a part of a deal where South Carolina prosecutors dropped a pending murder charge against him.
“The defendant willfully used deadly force even though it was objectively unreasonable under the circumstances,” the plea agreement stated. “The defendant acknowledges that during the time he used deadly force, he knew that the use of deadly force was unnecessary and excessive, and therefore unreasonable under the circumstances.”
The trial lasted for five weeks, in which the jury deliberated over whether to convict the former North Charleston police officer that pulled over Scott during a traffic stop and ultimately shot him five times in the back as he tried to run away.
One of the 12 jurors withheld their vote to convict Slager, leading to the mistrial.
The incident between Slager and Scoot took place on April 4, 2015, while Slager was an officer with the North Charleston Police Department. A witness video that captured the altercation showed the exact moment the former cop fired at Scott as he ran away during a traffic stop.
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