D.L. Chandler

Former Charleston Cop Who Killed Walter Scott Pleads Guilty

 

Michael Slager, the former Charleston, S.C. police officer that gunned down fleeing Black man Walter Scott, has pleaded guilty to the charges. The 35-year-old Slager admitted guilt for the April 2015 shooting as part of a plea agreement, and the Scott family views the moment as justice.

The Charlestons Post Courier reports:

Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager pleaded guilty Tuesday to violating Walter Scott’s civil rights by shooting the fleeing black man five times — a sudden shift after insisting for two years he had gunned down Scott in self-defense.

Slager reached the agreement with prosecutors a week before a jury was scheduled to be selected for his trial in federal court. Under the “global” plea deal, state authorities promptly dropped a separate state murder charge. Two other federal counts of lying to investigators and using a firearm in a violent crime also will be dismissed.

Though a sentence was not agreed upon, the plea eliminates the unpredictability of a jury trial and will place key issues affecting Slager’s punishment squarely in the hands of a judge who’ll decide in the coming weeks whether the officer committed murder in shooting Scott.

The victory for the Scott family is one of few instances where a conviction has been reached in the case of a police officer shooting and killing a Black person for reasons they may have violated their rights or the use of force.

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