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Former Officer Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Shooting Death of Walter Scott

By Clinique Mason –


slagerFormer South Carolina Officer Michael Slager was sentenced to 19 to 24 years in prison Thursday, for shooting unarmed black motorist Walter Scott in the back during a routine traffic stop in 2015.

According to an article on, Slager initially evaded justice when the North Charleston cop’s first trial ended in a mistrial earlier this year.

However, in this instance, Slager pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights offense.

“The 36-year-old Slager could have been dealt a life sentence, in addition to a $250,000 fine for using excessive force during the routine traffic stop,” The Root said. “While the 19- to 24-year sentence stops well short of that, the very fact of the prison sentence is anomalous: Officers are rarely sent to prison for fatal shootings.”

Originally, Slager had claimed he’d shot Sott in self-defense, however bystander video showed Scott had turned and attempted to flee from the officer during the traffic stop.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge David Norton found Slager had committed second-degree murder, as well as obstruction of justice.

According to reports, Slager’s guilty plea effectively “end[ed] the federal case against him, and also resolv[ed] the state charges that were pending after the mistrial.”

Norton has also sentenced Slager to two years of supervised release following his prison term, and Slager currently has two weeks to appeal the sentence.

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