CHARLESTON, South Carolina — A former South Carolina officer was sentenced to twenty years in jail on Thursday, December seventh for fatally capturing an unarmed motorist within the again in 2015, wrapping up a case that turned a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter motion.
Attorneys for ex-North Charleston Officer Michael Slager stated he shot 50-yr-previous Walter Scott in self-protection after the 2 fought and Scott grabbed Slager’s stun gun. They stated race didn’t play a task within the capturing and Slager by no means had any “racial animus” towards minorities.
Nonetheless, Slager pleaded responsible in federal courtroom to violating Scott’s civil rights. As a part of the plea settlement reached in Might, prosecutors dropped state homicide costs. A yr in the past, a state decide declared a mistrial when jurors deadlocked in that case.
“This can be a tragedy that shouldn’t have occurred,” U.S. District Decide David Norton stated.
A bystander recorded the capturing on a cellphone, and it was shared all over the world, setting off protests throughout the U.S. as demonstrators stated it was one other egregious instance of cops mistreating African-People.
Slager fired at Scott’s again from 17 ft (5 meters) away. 5 of eight bullets hit him.
The video was seized on by many as vivid proof of what that they had been arguing for years: that white officers too typically use lethal pressure unnecessarily towards black individuals.
When the jury failed to succeed in a verdict within the state homicide case, many black individuals and others have been shocked and distressed, as a result of the video appeared to some to be an open-and-shut case. Some despaired of ever seeing justice.
Scott’s household testified earlier than the sentence was handed down and stated that they had forgiven Slager.
“I’m not indignant at you, Michael. Michael, I forgive you, and Michael, I do pray for you now and for your loved ones, as a result of we’ve gone by means of a traumatic time,” stated Scott’s brother Anthony.
The capturing angered native African-People who complained for years that North Charleston police harassed blacks, pulling them over or questioning them unnecessarily as they cracked down on crime. However after the capturing, the Scott household efficiently pleaded for calm, asking everybody to let the justice system run its course.
Two months after the capturing, Dylann Roof killed 9 church members in a racially motivated attacked throughout a Bible research in Charleston. The relations of these victims struck an analogous forgiveness tone after that assault.
Earlier than the sentence was handed down, the decide needed to determine whether or not the capturing amounted to second-diploma homicide or manslaughter. Norton discovered that it was homicide.
“It doesn’t matter what sentence I give, neither the Scott household nor the Slager household goes to assume that it’s proper,” the decide stated.
After the capturing, Slager picked up his stun gun and positioned it subsequent to Scott. Slager contends he was securing the weapon. Prosecutors assume he put it there to bolster his self-protection story.