Ex-cop who fatally shot Walter Scott to be sentenced up to 24 years in prison

A judge hands down ruling after former officer pleads guilty to violating Scott's civil rights

(Photo: Charleston County Sheriff's Office and The Post and Courier)

Michael Slager, the former South Carolina police officer who fatally shot Walter Scott, an unarmed Black man, will be sentenced 19-24 years in prison.

Announcing his ruling on Thursday, U.S. District Judge David Norton ruled that Slager, who could have faced life in prison, committed second-degree murder and obstruction of justice.

The judge is set to announce Slager’s final sentencing later today.

Slager, who is white, pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights offense. On April 4, 2015, Walter Scott was stopped by Slager for a broken tail light. In video that went viral, Slager is seen shooting Scott from behind while Scott flees the scene of the traffic stop.

Slager was terminated from the police department after the shooting.

The ex-cop was charged with murder and pleaded not guilty. During the murder trial, Slager’s attorney said his client shot Scott because he was in fear for his life. In 2016, the murder case ended in a mistrial.

A state retrial and federal trial was expected to move forward, however, in May, Slager pleaded guilty violating Scott’s civil rights in federal court.