One year after his first trial ended with a hung jury, former North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager will face 20 years in prison for fatally shooting unarmed Black man Walter Scott on April 4, 2015.
Slager pulled over Scott’s car for a broken tail light. When the 50-year-old unarmed Black man ran from his vehicle, bystander video filmed by Feidin Santana showed Slager shoot Scott in the back, striking him with five of the eight bullets he shot. The video also shows him discharging his Taser after the shooting and placing on the ground near Scott’s body, allegedly to support the claim he made to dispatch, “He took my Taser.” In May, Slager pleaded guilty to a federal charge of violating Scott’s civil rights via the use of excessive force.
The Post and Courier reports that The judge ruled that Slager, who is White, is guilty of second-degree murder and obstruction of justice. Today (December 7), U.S. District Judge David Norton sentenced Slager to 20 years in prison. The charges could have garnered a maximum sentence of 30 years to life behind bars.