After Walter Scott Shooting, Ex-Cop Michael Slager Sentenced to 20 Years In Prison

Former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager, who shot and killed Walter Scott in 2015, was found guilty of second-degree murder Thursday.

Slager also was found guilty of obstruction of justice, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison by U.S. District Court of Charleston Judge David Norton. The former North Charleston cop could have received life in prison. 

Walter Scott's mother, Judy Scott, forgave Slager before the sentencing, and the former cop reportedly began sobbing. 

"What made me feel good about it is that Michael Slager admitted what he did. That was enough years for me," Judy Scott told CNN.

Slager, a former North Charleston cop, shot and killed Scott on April 4, 2015.

A video recorded by a nearby civilian showed Slager firing eight rounds into Scott's back as Scott, 50, ran from him after a traffic stop. After Scott had fallen to the ground, Slager walks toward him shouting "Put your hands behind your back!" and appears to plant a Taser next to Scott.

"If you met him, you would like him," Judy Scott said, addressing Slager in court before the verdict was announced. "I didn't know anyone who didn't like him." 

The North Charleston Police Department fired Slager shortly after the shooting death. The police department paid the Scott family a $6.5 million settlement in October 2015. After Judge Clifton Newman declared a mistrial in Slager’s 2016 state murder trial, the ex-cop pleaded guilty to shooting Scott in May 2017.  

Scott's murder was one of many violent police killings of unarmed black men caught on tape, including the shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice and the chokehold death of Eric Garner, both in 2014, which sparked protests that grew into the "Black Live Matter" movement.

Slager's attorney, Andy Savage, argued that the former officer's actions were not criminal and pushed for a voluntary manslaughter charge. Slager and his attorney will have 14 days to appeal.

GettyImages-627848682 Michael Slager in court. Grace Beahm - Pool/Getty Images

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