Ex-cop Michael Slager sentenced to 20 years for shooting death of Walter Scott

Former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for the deadly shooting of unarmed black man Walter Scott.

U.S. District Judge David Norton ruled that Slager committed second-degree murder and obstruction of justice, when he shot and killed 50-year-old Scott in 2015. The second-degree murder ruling came with a recommended 19 to 24 year sentence.

At one point during the sentencing Scott’s mother looked the former officer in the eye and told him she forgave him. Families on both sides of the court burst into tears.

One of Walter Scott’s brothers, Rodney Scott, told the court that the death of his brother the worst day of his life. Rodney Scott said he wants Slager to pay for his actions.

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This undated photo shows Walter Scott who was shot and killed by a police officer on April 4, 2015 in North Charleston, S.C.

Slager’s father, mother, sister and wife also spoke to the judge, begging for a lighter sentence. They talked about how Slager led a life of service and how upset they were after the shooting. Michael Slager’s wife, Jamie Slager, told the judge, “He had to make a decision in a split second. I couldn’t imagine having to make a decision that fast.”

The judge’s decision comes after Michael Slager, who is white, pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights offense.

Michael Slager shot and killed Walter Scott on April 4, 2015, while Slager was an officer with the North Charleston Police Department. Michael Slager claimed self-defense, but witness cellphone video that surfaced shortly after the encounter showed the officer fatally shooting Walter Scott in the back as he ran away. He was fired from the force after the shooting.

Handout from family
A sequence of images made from a bystander video shows Officer Michael Slager pursuing and then shooting Walter Scott in North Charleston, S.C. on April 4, 2015.

Michael Slager was charged in South Carolina with murder and pleaded not…

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