Latest News

US cop jailed for 20 years in fatal shooting of black man

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Print this page Email A Friend!


CHARLESTON, United States (AFP) — A white former US police officer was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black motorist.

The death of Walter Scott in April 2015 was one of the most shocking in a series of high-profile US police shootings, often involving minorities that have deepened tensions and added to distrust between officers and the communities they serve.

Michael Slager, who worked for the North Charleston police department, was charged with murder in state courts, proceedings that ended in a mistrial last year.

But in May, he pleaded guilty to one federal charge of depriving Scott of his civil rights by using excessive force while carrying out his duties.

On Thursday, US District Judge David Norton said the offense involved the underlying crime of second-degree murder.

The former policeman "acted with malice and forethought," said Norton, "shooting an unarmed and fleeing Walter Scott."

Slager then gave authorities false information about the circumstances of the shooting, the judge added at the sentencing hearing in a Charleston federal court.

The former officer shot and killed the 50-year-old Scott on April 4, 2015, in North Charleston when Scott fled his vehicle after being pulled over for a broken brake light.

Slager claimed he had acted in self-defense, saying Scott tried to attack him with his own stun gun. But video footage of the incident taken by a witness shows Slager shooting Scott in the back as he sprinted away from the officer.

Slager was then criticised for trying to stage a scene to back up his claim of self-defense, by placing his stun gun beside Scott.

He was arrested three days after the video surfaced a rare case of quick action in cases of police killings.

The incident sparked angry demonstrations.

Scott's father has said his son may have been running from the officer because he owed child support and did not want to go to jail.

Relatives of the victim said Thursday they forgave Slager, despite their grief.

"Forgiveness came easy for (others). It came very hard for me," said Scott's older brother, Anthony.

"At the end of the day, there's another judge he has to face."

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT