Former South Carolina officer convicted of killing an unarmed black man –

Former South Carolina officer convicted of killing an unarmed black man


And they will trust God again to stabilize them on Monday. That's when a federal judge will sentence Michael Slager, the former North Charleston white officer who shot Scott, a 50-year-old unarmed black man, in the back as he ran after a traffic stop on April 4, 2015.

"We are praying for him to get a fair sentence," Scott's brother, Anthony, 55, said last week. "If you have zero time, God has it under control."

Federal prosecutors are seeking a life sentence. Prosecutors believe that Slager committed a second-degree murder and should also be punished for obstructing justice.

Prosecutors said Slager repeatedly lied to the authorities and in court, even that initially he did not tell the authorities that he shot Slager in the back as he fled. Slager also altered the crime scene by moving his taser, prosecutors said, planting on the ground next to Scott's body.

But Slager's lawyers said the offense amounts to voluntary homicide. They argued that Slager never lied, but the traumatic situation affected his memory.

"A memory of Swiss cheese is a symptom of stress, not an indication of lying," their lawyers wrote in court documents, citing expert testimony.

  Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager in trial for the murder of Walter Scott.

A traffic stop

Slager first threw Scott by a broken tail light. Moments later, Scott ran away.

He followed a chase on foot. Slager's first attempt to use his Taser did not stop Scott. A second deployment took Scott to the ground, but he got up and left again. Slager fired when Scott escaped for the last time.

A video of a pbader-by caught Slager firing eight times, hitting Scott five times in the back.

The video of the mobile phone that Feidin Santana recorded led Slager to shoot and arrest him on a murder charge. The death of Scott renewed the protests of "Black Lives Matter" after the father of four became the last of the series of black men killed by the police.

Santana said he saw Slager in the chase on foot with Scott. He followed the two men to many places where he saw part of the incident before starting to record. Only the end of the altercation was captured by the camera.

Santana described a fight in which the officer was always up, and Scott was trying to escape. He said they got up quickly.

Santana said "he (shot) the man running".

Slager: "I knew I was in trouble"

On the stand during his murder trial, an emotional Slager testified that his mind was like "spaghetti" during the altercation with Scott that day.

He argued that even at 18 feet away, Scott still posed a threat to him and could have turned around and charged him. Prosecutors said there was little physical evidence of a fight.

"Scott would never stop after I gave him multiple orders to stop," Slager said in November.

Slager testified that he and Scott struggled before the shooting, and said Scott was much stronger.

He could not remember all the details, but he remembered that Scott shook his Taser and pointed it at him briefly, Slager said.

"I knew I was in trouble," Slager said. "I had a total fear that Mr. Scott would not stop, he kept coming towards me."

Slager's murder trial ended in a mistrial after the jury failed to reach a verdict last December.

Defense: & # 39; A memory of Swiss cheese & # 39;

In exchange for a guilty plea agreement in May, state murder charges and other federal charges were eliminated. The plea agreement did not contain Slager's initial allegation that he feared for his life because Scott grabbed his Taser.

The plea agreement marked one of the first resolutions of a high-profile police shooting under then-new Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions has ordered a review of the police reform activities of the previous administration, many of which began in response to police-related shootings.

Slager's attorneys drew parallels between Slager's memory of the shooting and Sessions' testimony in a House judicial committee. meeting last month.

  Sessions said he did not lie under oath, says that Trump has not influenced the Department of Justice

Sessions had previously said he "did not remember" a March 2016 meeting at the Trump Hotel he attended along with Trump's campaign aide George Papadopoulos. But an image of the meeting that emerged after the staff member pleaded guilty to false statements shattered his memory, Sessions said.

Sessions testified in November that he now remembers the meeting, rejecting allegations that he lied about the Trump campaign and Russia.

Papadopoulos' work is now a focus of Robert Mueller's special investigation into the meddling in Russian elections.

the answers have not changed, "the sessions testified then." I've always told the truth, and I answered all the questions as I understood them and the best I remember. "

In court documents, Slager's attorneys said : "Like Sessions, Slager never lied or cheated on anyone. Like Sessions, he answered the questions that were asked, "Slager's lawyers wrote.

" When I did not remember certain elements, it can be attributed to the stress or chaos of the event during which the memory should have formed, "they wrote.

Slager defense attorneys Andy Savage and Donald L. McCune Jr. of Charleston, South Carolina, could not be contacted on Sunday.

Scott's family: God has the last word & # 39;

Anthony Scott plans to address the court on Monday, along with other family members.

Scott said he shared stories about his relationship with his younger brother in the impact statement of The victim who was given to the judge said that the young Scott was "my first best friend" and a Dallas Cowboys fan who could easily tell the memories of childhood.

"I could go back and tell you what happened in this or that date, "said the m ayor Scott.

  ac intv cooper brother walter scott police shooting _00013410.jpg

Anthony Scott said that his family will "not be satisfied with anything less than 20 years". But he and his family are prepared for whatever the sentence.

"God has the last word," he said. "We're not going to go with our heads down, whatever happens."

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