Michael Slager, the former South Carolina police officer, was finally found guilty of murder in the shooting death of an unarmed black man, Walter Scott.
Slager was an officer with the North Charleston PD at the time of the shooting. Slager claimed he shot Walter Scott in self defense, but video taken by a witness proved otherwise, showing Slager shooting Scott in the back as he ran away following a traffic stop. Slager lost his job with the PD as a result of the video and shooting.
Slager was charged with murder but pleaded not guilty. The case ended in a mistrial in 2016. ABC News reports that the state retrial and federal trial were set to take place this year, but Slager pleaded guilty to violating Scott’s civil rights in federal court, which ended the federal case against him. This also resolved the state charges that were pending after the mistrial.
Slager had been in jail since May and today’s ruling wrapped up all outstanding charges. He was found guilty of obstructing justice based on his statements to state police after the shooting in addition to second degree murder. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, an incredibly long sentence for a white police officer charged with murdering an unarmed black man. Just being found guilty is incredible.