UPDATE: CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Fired North Charleston Police officer Michael Slager has pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of an unarmed black motorist he shot in back. The death of Walter Scott was seen worldwide after a bystander recorded it on his cellphone.
Slager likely faces prison under the terms of his plea deal with prosecutors.
He spoke little on Tuesday, except to quietly answer the judge’s questions.
Several of Scott’s relatives sat on the front row in the courtroom gallery as the prosecutor read a bare-bones description of the shooting. One of them closed his eyes tightly while another hung his head.
Slager has been out on bond for much of the time since the shooting, but now that he’s guilty, he was handcuffed by a federal marshal and led from the courtroom as Scott’s family looked on.
(CNN) – Michael Slager, the former South Carolina police officer who fatally shot unarmed black motorist Walter Scott, intends to plead guilty Tuesday to one federal charge of excessive use of force as part of a plea agreement, a source with direct knowledge of the plea deal said.
Slager shot Scott in the back as Scott was running away from him following a traffic stop in April 2015.
The federal charge is a felony and is punishable by up to life in prison. The remaining state murder charges — as well as two other federal charges — will be dismissed as part of this plea agreement, the source said.
Slager’s state murder trial ended in a mistrial in December after a jury failed to reach a verdict. The killing sparked renewed “Black Lives Matter” protests after Scott became the latest in a series of unarmed black men killed by police