CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — One after the other, family members of the late Walter Scott urged a decide to mete out a big punishment for Michael Slager, the white former police officer who fatally shot Scott, an unarmed black man, within the again after a 2015 visitors cease.
Via tears, Scott’s household advised Slager they felt sorrow for him and the loss his younger youngsters would really feel in his absence. In the long run, a decide sentenced Slager to twenty years in jail, giving the Scott household the justice that they had sought ever since a stranger got here to them with the surprising video of Scott being killed.
“I forgive Michael Slager. I forgive you,” Scott’s mom, Judy, stated as she turned towards her son’s killer. “I pray for you, that you’d repent and let Jesus are available your life.”
Sitting just some ft away, Slager wiped tears from his eyes and mouthed: “I’m sorry.”
The punishment wrapped up a case that turned a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter motion. Slager, 36, is one in every of just a few cops to go to jail for a deadly capturing, and his sentence is by far the stiffest because the shootings got here beneath additional scrutiny in recent times.
Attorneys for the previous North Charleston officer stated he shot the 50-yr-previous Scott in self-protection after the 2 fought and Scott grabbed Slager’s stun gun. They stated race didn’t play a task within the capturing and Slager by no means had any “racial animus” towards minorities.
Nonetheless, Slager pleaded responsible in federal courtroom to violating Scott’s civil rights. As a part of a plea settlement reached in Might, prosecutors dropped state homicide costs.
“This can be a tragedy that shouldn’t have occurred,” U.S. District Decide David Norton stated.
Slager apologized to the Scott household, calling Scott’s mom and brothers by their names.
“With my actions that day, Walter Scott is not together with his household, and I’m liable for that,” Slager stated. Of their forgiveness, he added: “I’m very grateful for that.”
Slager’s feelings stood in stark distinction to his stoic demeanor throughout his state homicide trial when jurors deadlocked over a verdict. He has a number of weeks to attraction his sentence and might be housed on the Charleston County jail till he’s assigned to a federal jail.
After the sentencing, Judy Scott and Walter’s two brothers informed reporters that, whereas that they had made peace with the case, they remained adamant the officer ought to pay for his crime.
“Who’re we to not forgive?” Rodney Scott stated.