A white former police officer says he is grateful for the forgiveness from the family of a black man that he shot to death.
Slager shot and killed the 50-year-old Scott following a traffic stop for a busted taillight on April 4, 2015 while Slager was a member of the North Charleston Police Department.
Slager, a former North Charleston cop, shot and killed Scott on April 4, 2015.
"Officers who violate anyone's rights also violate their oaths of honor, and they tarnish the names of the vast majority of officers, who do incredible work", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. (In a presentencing memo, Slager's lawyers even cited Jeff Sessions' memory lapses while under oath to justify discrepancies in Slager's accounts.) Prosecutors, meanwhile, argued that Slager's choice to shoot a fleeing man showed malicious intent and warranted a punishment of life in prison.
Slager, 36, who is white, earlier pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights offense against the African-American Scott.
Norton's sentence later Thursday will bring to an end one of the most notorious criminal cases in modern S.C. history, a case that attracted worldwide attention after a bystander's video of Scott's fatal shooting went viral on the Internet.
A defense attorney says a white former SC law officer should be sentenced on the low end of guidelines being considered by a federal judge.
"I forgive you Michael Slager", she said. In sentencing Slager, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to a federal civil rights violation, the judge ruled Thursday that he committed second-degree murder and obstruction of justice. Slager told Morgan that he didn't remember Walter Scott being on top of him, but believed he was tased by Scott.
Slager's family had a chance to talk too, and his mother said her son didn't shoot Scott in anger or prejudice. "I would like (for you) to sentence the defendant to the strongest sentence the law will allow because he murdered my one and only father", Scott said. "I pray for you, that you would repent and let Jesus come in your life".
David Hallimore, an audio expert who analyzed the audio from the traffic stop and cell phone video, testified that when Slager chased Scott after the traffic stop he could hear the exhaustion in Slager's voice. Wednesday Scott's youngest son addressed court and asked the judge to give Slager the maximum sentence.
A former SC police officer was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in federal prison after a judge found him guilty of second-degree murder in the death of a motorist two years ago.
"Sentencing is the worst part of the best job in the world", Norton said in the courtroom.
The judge also found that Slager obstructed justice when he made statements to state police after the shooting. Slager had testified he was trying to secure the weapon, but the prosecution said Slager embellished his story.
Hallimore testified during the State's murder trial in November of past year.
That includes use of Slager's stun gun, which the former officer says Walter Scott grabbed and turned on him, causing Slager to fear for his life and shoot in self-defense. He broke down the cell phone video frame by frame and explained that he could see that there was a fight between Scott and Slager, when they were on the ground.