Ex-South Carolina cop Michael Slager sentenced to 20 years in shooting death of Walter Scott

CHARLESTON, S.C. – A white former South Carolina officer was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Thursday for fatally shooting an unarmed black motorist in the back in 2015, wrapping up a case that became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.Attorneys for ex-North Charleston Officer Michael Slager said he shot 50-year-old Walter Scott in self-defence after the two fought and Scott reached for Slager’s stun gun. They said race didn’t play any role in the shooting and that Slager never had any “racial animus” toward minorities.Still, Slager pleaded guilty in federal court to violating Scott’s civil rights. As part of the plea agreement reached in May, prosecutors dropped state murder charges. A year ago, a state judge declared a mistrial when jurors deadlocked.READ MORE: Mistrial declared in case against former SC police officer“This is a tragedy that shouldn’t have happened,” U.S. District Judge David Norton said.A bystander recorded the shooting on a cellphone, and it was shared around the world, setting off protests across the U.S. as demonstrators said it was another egregious example of police officers’ mistreating African-Americans.Scott’s family testified before the sentence and said they had forgiven Slager.“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,” he said.Former South Carolina cop indicted for murder in death of Walter Scott

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