Ex-Officer Pleads Guilty to Killing Walter Scott in South Carolina
A former police officer in South Carolina who was caught on video shooting at a black man as he was running away, pled guilty Tuesday to a federal civil rights charge, according to authorities.
Michael Slager, an officer at the North Charleston Police Department, had faced federal civil rights and state murder charges in the April 2015 shooting of Walter Scott, a 50-year-old unarmed motorist who fled after a traffic stop. Slager pleaded guilty to a single federal civil rights charge — which his attorney described as “using excessive force” — as part of a deal to resolve both cases, reports The Washington Post.
“We hope that Michael’s acceptance of responsibility will help the Scott family as they continue to grieve their loss,” Andrew J. Savage III, Slager’s attorney, said in a statement.
In a statement from the Department of Justice, Slager used force “even though it was objectively unreasonable under the circumstances.”
In that same statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the department would “hold accountable any law enforcement officer who violates the civil rights of our citizens by using excessive force.”
“Such failures of duty not only harm the individual victims of these crimes; they harm our country, by eroding trust in law enforcement and undermining the good work of the vast majority of honorable and honest police officers,” Sessions said. “As our Department works to support the courageous and professional law enforcement personnel who risk their lives every day to protect us, we will also ensure that police officers who abuse their sacred trust are made to answer for their misconduct.”
While Slager’s sentence will be determined at a later date, he could face life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for the civil rights charge.
Posted in The Takedown