Former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for the deadly shooting of unarmed black man Walter Scott.
U.S. District Judge David Norton ruled that Slager committed second-degree murder and obstruction of justice, when he shot and killed 50-year-old Scott in 2015. The second-degree murder ruling came with a recommended 19 to 24 year sentence.
At one point during the sentencing Scott’s mother looked the former officer in the eye and told him she forgave him. Families on both sides of the court burst into tears.
One of Walter Scott’s brothers, Rodney Scott, told the court that the death of his brother the worst day of his life. Rodney Scott said he wants Slager to pay for his actions.
Slager’s father, mother, sister and wife also spoke to the judge, begging for a lighter sentence. They talked about how Slager led a life of service and how upset they were after the shooting. Michael Slager’s wife, Jamie Slager, told the judge, “He had to make a decision in a split second. I couldn’t imagine having to make a decision that fast.”