Former cop who shot unarmed black man gets 20 years in prison

Walter during a news conference after former police officer Michael Slager was sentenced to 20 years in prison

Slager unsuccessfully tried to stop Scott with his taser, which turned into a scuffle, and as he tried to flee again, Slager shot Scott eight times in the back.

"This tragic event that occurred in seconds has changed the lives of everyone involved", he said.

A white former USA police officer was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black motorist.

But Slager pleaded guilty to violating Scott's civil rights in federal court in May after stunning video footage captured by a bystander showed Scott running away from Slager when he was shot.

What it did capture, though, is Slager repeatedly firing at Mr Scott as he was attempting to run away.

A state murder trial ended last December with a hung jury, and state prosecutors dropped the murder case in exchange for the plea on the federal charge.

Andy Savage said Thursday he felt it would be appropriate for Michael Slager to receive about 19 years in prison for shooting a black motorist to death in 2015.

"Norton had two options for the underlying offense that could affect Slager's penalty: voluntary manslaughter or second-degree murder".

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Walter Scott's mother, Judy, holds up a photo of him as she walks to the media tents pitched outside of the courthouse in downtown Charleston.

In a wrought courtroom scene, Scott's mother, Judy, told Slager that she forgives him for her son's killing.

"I forgive Michael Slager". But according to the service records provided by the Coast Guard shortly after the shooting in April 2015, Slager separated as junior enlisted, suggesting his rank remained stagnant during his tenure with the branch.

Attorneys for ex-North Charleston Officer Michael Slager said he shot 50-year-old Walter Scott in self-defense after the two fought and Scott grabbed Slager's stun gun. But the Scott family successfully pleaded for calm, asking everyone to let the justice system run its course. U.S. District Judge David Norton also ordered mental counseling and treatment for the 36-year-old father.

The ruling comes as part of federal sentencing proceedings for Michael Slager. He also said Slager obstructed justice by lying to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents after the incident.

This week, federal prosecutors and Slager's lawyers have called witnesses to testify about technical aspects of the case, including what happened to Slager's stun gun before the shooting.

"I'm not angry at you, Michael".

For three days, attorneys representing the federal government and a former SC officer charged in an unarmed black motorist's shooting death have presented technical testimony to a judge considering how much time Michael Slager should spend in federal prison.

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