Michael Slager, the former North Charleston police officer charged with the fatal shooting of Walter Scott, received a formal prison sentence on Thursday NBC News reports.
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U.S. District Court Judge David Norton found Slager guilty of second-degree murder and obstruction of justice. Slater will receive 20 years behind bars and two years of supervised released, according to NBC.
Judge Norton’s decision followed after Slager pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights case in May. Slager, who is white, opened fire after pulling over Scott, a 50-year-old Black unarmed motorist on April, 4, 2015.
Scott’s fatal shooting was a significant apex in the series of police shooting deaths involving deadly force used by police officers on communities of color. The chilling video of Scott’s profile fleeing while Slager fired in his direction stirred the Black Lives Matter movement in the midst of several FBI probes concerning the tactics and polices of police departments across the country.
Slager was fired from the department following an administrative leave. He was arrested and faced a jury trial for Scott’s murder, but plead not guilty. Slugger defense team argued that he feared for his life–in contrast to the utter fear Scott displayed as his blue shirt streaked through the trees before he was struck down.
In December 2016, a mistrial was declared in the case, prompting demonstrations and calls for justice. A scheduled federal and state trial were preempted after he plead guilty in the May 2017 civil rights case, ABC News reports.
Judge Norton’s ruling follows several days of testimony from witnesses and experts while both Slager and Scott’s family members sat in the courtroom.
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40 Black Men & Youths Who Were Killed By Police
1. Amadou Diallo, 221 of 34
2. Sean Bell, 23Source:Instagram 2 of 34
3. Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., 68Source:Instagram 3 of 34
4. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Instagram 4 of 34
5. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty Images 5 of 34
6. Kimani Gray, 166 of 34
7. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Instagram 7 of 34
8. Victor White III, 22Source:Instagram 8 of 34
9. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Instagram 9 of 34
10. Eric Garner, 43Source:Instagram 10 of 34
11. Omar Abrego, 3711 of 34
12. Michael Brown Jr, 18Source:Instagram 12 of 34
13. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images 13 of 34
14. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty Images 14 of 34
15. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Instagram 15 of 34
16. Darrien Hunt, 22Source:Instagram 16 of 34
17. Jack Jacquez, 2717 of 34
18. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty Images 18 of 34
19. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Instagram 19 of 34
20. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Instagram 20 of 34
21. Walter Scott, 5021 of 34
22. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Instagram 22 of 34
23. Michael Sabbie, 35Source:Instagram 23 of 34
24. Delrawn Small, 3724 of 34
25. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Instagram 25 of 34
26. Philando Castile, 32Source:Instagram 26 of 34
27. Gregory Frazier, 5627 of 34
28. Tyre King, 13Source:Instagram 28 of 34
29. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Instagram 29 of 34
30. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Instagram 30 of 34
31. Reginald Thomas, 36Source:Instagram 31 of 34
32. Carnell Snell Jr., 18Source:Instagram 32 of 34
33. Joshua Beal, 2533 of 34
34. Kajuan Raye, 1934 of 34