It was about 0930 local time when 50-year-old Walter Scott was stopped for a traffic violation - a broken brake light - by police officer Michael Slager in North Charleston, South Carolina. Whenever possible, this article pulls verbatim from local news reports. (Grace Beahm/Post and Courier via AP, Pool, File), Connect with the definitive source for global and local news. Convictions in police officer shootings are uncommon in the U.S. and prison time is even rarer. Slager, 33, served honorably in the military before joining the North Charleston Police Department more than five years ago. Feidin Santana was a bystander when he filmed Scott running from Officer Michael Slager on April 4 and ultimately being shot to death. vimeo.com The man who filmed a North Charleston police officer fatally shooting Walter Scott now plans to charge news outlets $10,000 for the video. Slager was placed on administrative duty, pending the outcome of the state investigation. Still, Slager pleaded guilty in federal court to violating Scott’s civil rights. “I pray for you, that you would repent and let Jesus come in your life.”, Sitting just a few feet away, Slager wiped tears from his eyes and mouthed: “I’m sorry.”. “He’s not a violent guy -- never seen him argue with anybody. Muhiydin D'Baha leads a group protesting the shooting death of Walter Scott at city hall in North Charleston, S.C., Wednesday, April 8, 2015. Today is National Voter Registration Day! His family suspects he fled because he owed thousands of dollars in child support. Protesters gather outside North Charleston City Hall shortly after video of Walter Scott's shooting death emerged. If Slager had faced another state trial and been convicted of murder, he could have been sentenced to anywhere from 30 years to life in prison. Bruce Smith and Meg Kinnard / AP. He wasn’t young and in the streets. The judge also found that Slager obstructed justice when he made statements to state police after the shooting. “This is a tragedy that shouldn’t have happened,” U.S. District Judge David Norton said. Groubert was sentenced to five years behind bars. In the end, a judge sentenced Slager to 20 years in prison, giving the Scott family the justice they had sought ever since a stranger came to them with the shocking video of Scott being killed. According to a police report, Scott did not comply with an officer’s demands and tried to grab Slager’s stun gun. He took my Taser," Slager radioed immediately following the shooting. The settlement gives annuities totaling $1 million to three of Walter Scott's four children, according to court papers obtained by The Post and Courier of Charleston. Slager contended he was securing the weapon. Attorneys for the former North Charleston officer said he shot the 50-year-old Scott in self-defense after the two fought and Scott grabbed Slager’s stun gun. The video was seized on by many as vivid proof of what they had been arguing for years: that white officers too often use deadly force unnecessarily against black people. Here’s A News Report We’d Be Reading If Walter Scott’s Killing Wasn’t On Video By Ryan Grim and Nick Wing This article is written as if the alleged murder of Walter Scott had not been captured on video that was made public Tuesday by The New York Times and other outlets. After the shooting, Slager picked up his stun gun and placed it next to Scott. CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — One by one, relatives of the late Walter Scott urged a judge to mete out a significant punishment for Michael Slager, the white former police officer who fatally shot Scott, an unarmed black man, in the back after a 2015 traffic stop. During tearful statements in court, several members of Scott’s family said they forgave the officer and were praying for him. Meet the Press looks at how the media would have covered the Walter Scott shooting without the cell phone video. “He wasn’t no criminal. A bystander recorded the shooting on a cellphone, and it was shared around the world, setting off protests across the U.S. as demonstrators said it was another egregious example of police officers mistreating African-Americans. Two months after the shooting, a young white man killed nine black church members in a racially motivated massacre during a Bible study in Charleston. The funeral for Scott, 50, was held at the W.O.R.D. Slager’s shooting of Scott, 50, happened when Scott was some 10-15 yards away and fleeing. Walter Scott shooting: Family asks Al Sharpton to stay away. FILE - In a Nov. 29, 2016 file photo, former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager testifies during his murder trial at the Charleston County court in Charleston, S.C. Slager was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, for 2015 fatal shooting of unarmed black motorist Walter Scott. “With my actions that day, Walter Scott is no longer with his family, and I am responsible for that,” Slager said. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. He also had a history of arrests related to contempt of court charges for failing to pay child support, and in 2008 was convicted of driving under suspension and having an open alcohol container in his car. The man, who has a history of violence and a long arrest record, died on the scene as a result of the encounter, despite officers performing CPR and delivering first aid, according to police reports. And I'm too dang lazy and apathetic to start it myself, perhaps someone else would care to. CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — One by one, relatives of the late Walter Scott urged a judge to mete out a significant punishment for Michael Slager, the white former police officer who fatally shot Scott, an unarmed black man, in the back after a 2015 traffic stop. But only Slager and former state trooper Sean Groubert, who shot a man as he tried to get his wallet during a seat belt violation check, will have been sent to prison. As part of a plea agreement reached in May, prosecutors dropped state murder charges. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote! Slager apologized to the Scott family, calling Scott’s mother and brothers by their names. “No matter what sentence I give, neither the Scott family nor the Slager family is going to think that it’s right,” the judge said. Slager “felt threatened and reached for his department-issued firearm and fired his weapon,” his attorney said in a statement on Sunday. Slager pleaded guilty in May to violating Walter Scott’s civil rights when he shot the unarmed, fleeing motorist five times in the back following a traffic stop. Al Sharpton in a South Carolina church Sunday praised the mayor's swift response to a cop's shooting of unarmed black man Walter Scott. Slager has been charged with murder. Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager is seeking to have his conviction and 20-year prison sentence in the fatal shooting of Walter Scott overturned by a federal judge. (Photo by Leroy Burnell - Pool/Getty Images) Scott, who received five bullets to the back, died at the scene. This article relies entirely on local news reports, which sourced their version of events to information from police, the attorney for the officer, "witnesses" and police statements. Police Shooting of Walter Scott Wasn’t Justified, Prosecutors Say . Michelle Williams, Questlove and Janelle Monae lead outrage on Twitter over fatal shooting of black father-of-four Walter Scott by white cop. Slager asked for Scott’s license, and while he was running a report, Scott open his car door and ran. Police Shooting of Walter Scott Wasn’t Justified, Prosecutors Say. On April 4, 2015, officer Michael Slager pulled over 50-year-old Walter Scott because of a broken brake light in North Charleston, South Carolina. The incident occurred behind a pawn shop on Craig Street and Remount Road. A video, however, shows the officer firing eight times as the man, Walter L. Scott, 50, fled. Norton found that it was murder. He was a grown man working hard to take care of his family,” he told the Charleston Post and Courier of his cousin. In that case, it was determined that the officer had been within his rights to use force to defend himself after a man tried to overpower him. November 3, 2016, 8:19 AM (CHARLESTON, S.C.) — The murder trial of a white former police officer who shot an unarmed black motorist eight times as he ran away from a traffic stop opened on Thursday … When the jury failed to reach a verdict in the state murder case, many black people and others were shocked and distressed, because the video seemed to some to be an open-and-shut case. Slager, 36, is one of only a few police officers to go to prison for a fatal shooting, and his sentence is by far the stiffest since the shootings came under extra scrutiny in recent years. But after the shooting, the Scott family successfully pleaded for calm, asking everyone to let the justice system run its course. The shooting angered local African-Americans who complained for years that North Charleston police harassed blacks, pulling them over or questioning them unnecessarily as they cracked down on crime. The shooting was the 11th this year by a South Carolina police officer. File/Staff . After the sentencing, Judy Scott and Walter’s two brothers told reporters that, while they had made peace with the case, they remained adamant the officer should pay for his crime. “This type of situation is unfortunate and difficult for everyone. — -- The family and friends of Walter Scott are remembering him Saturday, one week after he was shot and killed by a police officer. Slager’s emotions stood in stark contrast to his stoic demeanor during his state murder trial when jurors deadlocked over a verdict. Former North Charleston officer Slager is charged with the murder of Walter Scott after shooting Scott in the back during a traffic stop on April 4, 2015. Through tears, Scott’s family told Slager they felt sorrow for him and the loss his young children would feel in his absence. “Shots fired, and the subject is down. When Slager caught up with him a short distance from the street, Scott reportedly attempted to overpower Slager. They said race didn’t play a role in the shooting and Slager never had any “racial animus” toward minorities. Police identified the officer involved as Patrolman 1st Class Michael Thomas Slager and the suspect as Walter Lamar Scott, 50, of Meadowlawn Drive in West Ashley. Five of eight bullets hit him. Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP . A pre-sentencing report for Slager found that he committed manslaughter and recommended 10 to nearly 13 years in prison. The shooting April 4 was captured on video by a bystander and showed officer Michael Slager firing eight times as 50-year-old Walter Scott ran away. Samuel Scott, a 55-year-old man who identified himself as Scott’s cousin, said he was shocked by the news. Rev. Scott had a lengthy rap sheet extending back to at least 1987, when he was arrested on a charge of assault and battery. “Who are we not to forgive?” Rodney Scott said. “I believe once the community hears all the facts of this shooting, they’ll have a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding this investigation.”. A North Charleston police officer was forced to use his service weapon Saturday during a scuffle with a suspect who tried to overpower him and seize the officer's Taser, authorities said. I send it once a day or so. Subscribe today for $2.29 / week. Here’s how. Mr Scott, who had four children, was shot and killed a week ago after being pulled over by police in North Charleston, South Carolina, on suspicion of having committed a traffic offence. A previous accusation that Slager assaulted a burglary victim was found to be without merit. Sign up below to get my newsletter in your inbox. Payton Guion. Authorities there ultimately determined that Brown had attempted to overpower Officer Darren Wilson and run before turning back and charging the officer, who was forced to deploy his service weapon in the encounter. Walter Scott shooting: Sentencing hearing underway to determine ex-cop Michael Slager's fate Slager was accused of killing Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, in 2015. Many of those claims turned out to be lies. Read her work at https://apnews.com/search/meg%20kinnard . I just can’t see it.”. 0 comments. The family members of those victims struck a similar forgiveness tone after that attack. In 1991, he was convicted of possession of a bludgeon. Walter Scott, a 50-year-old father of four, was fatally shot by officer Michael Slager, 33, who has now been charged with his murder. I forgive you,” Scott’s mother, Judy, said as she turned toward her son’s killer. This article is written as if the alleged murder of Walter Scott had not been captured on video that was made public Tuesday by The New York Times and other outlets. We are confident that SLED will conduct a complete and thorough investigation into the incident and provide their findings to all concerned.”. The North Charleston mayor announced the state charges at a news conference Tuesday evening. Slager's attorney maintained that the officer believed he properly followed all procedures and policies before resorting to deadly force. It was during that scuffle that the officer fired his service weapon, fatally wounding Scott. In the South Carolina shooting of Walter Scott, patrolman first class Michael Slager, 33, who was later charged with murder, said he shot in self-defense after the 50-year-old attempted to overpower him and take his Taser. He has never been disciplined during his time on the force, his attorney said. “I forgive Michael Slager. Some despaired of ever seeing justice. All rights reserved. Muhiydin D'Baha leads a group protesting the shooting death of Walter Scott at city hall in North Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday. Slager was charged with murder after a video surfaced showing him shooting Scott from behind while Scott was fleeing, which contradicted Slager's report of the incident. Slager fired at Scott’s back from 17 feet (5 meters) away. Ministries Christian Center in Summerville, South Carolina, about 20 miles away from North Charleston where Scott was fatally shot by Michael Slager on April 4. The punishment wrapped up a case that became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement. Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. Slager initially pulled Scott over for a broken taillight. Prosecutors think he put it there to bolster his self-defense story. Shouldn’t the article be titled ‘Murder of Walter Scott‘ instead of ‘Shooting of Walter Scott’ for consistency with other similar articles?DonkeyPunchResin 18:47, 18 August 2020 (UTC) The case could be made. Part of HuffPost Politics. Read full article. On April 4, 2015, Walter Scott, was fatally shot in North Charleston, South Carolina, by Michael Slager, a North Charleston police officer.Slager had stopped Scott for a non-functioning brake light. made public Tuesday by The New York Times. But the judge was not bound by that review. During the stop, police and witnesses say Scott fled the vehicle on foot. Before Slager’s sentence was handed down, the judge had to decide whether the shooting amounted to second-degree murder or manslaughter. Police say that during the struggle, the man gained control of the Taser and attempted to use it against the officer. Slager fired eight shots, five of which struck Scott. Friday 10 April 2015 16:19 . The divisive reverend was a mainstay in the Ferguson protests. I would strongly oppose a move without going through the 7-day WP:RM#CM process. Footage caught by a witness shows a brief altercation between Scott and Slager before Scott runs, and Slager shoots at him eight times with a handgun from a distance of at least 15 feet. However, cell phone footage shows Scott being shot at eight times as he tried to run away. He has several weeks to appeal his sentence and will be housed at the Charleston County jail until he’s assigned to a federal prison. South Carolina has been aggressive in charging white officers who shoot unarmed black people. He had been stopped because of a … Saturday's encounter bears similarities to the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, which kicked off a national conversation about the use of force by police. Four have pleaded guilty in state or federal court in the past six years. 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