The former North Charleston police officer killed Scott following a traffic stop turned chase two years ago.
An emotional Slager told the Scott family that he was grateful for their forgiveness. Slager is then heard on a police radio reporting a description of Scott before yelling, "Taser, Taser, Taser!"
The federal crime for which Slager was sentenced is "deprivation of rights under color of law", which means basically that an officer has abused his authority and violated someone's rights. In another video recording, this one taken by Slager's dashboard camera as the traffic stop got underway, the two men could be seen interacting before Scott got out of his vehicle and fled.
Norton will announce Slager's sentence later Thursday.
U.S. District Judge David Norton sentenced former SC police officer Michael Slager to 20 years in prison Wednesday for the shooting of Walter Scott, an unarmed black motorist.
Fredericks also said his analysis showed taser wire was wrapped around Slager's leg and was connected to Scott right before the shooting.
The executive director of the SC chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Shaundra Scott, said her organization and others were working with police in the wake of the Scott case to ensure officer accountability. His 2016 state murder trial ended in a mistrial.
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Norton's sentence later Thursday will bring to an end one of the most notorious criminal cases in modern S.C. history, a case that attracted worldwide attention after a bystander's video of Scott's fatal shooting went viral on the Internet. Slager could have faced a life sentence, but prosecutors also said as part of the plea deal that they would recommend that his sentence be reduced due to his "acceptance of responsibility".
The former cop and his attorneys had long argued that the cell phone video didn't show the full story, and that the officers truly feared for his life. The sentence will be announced later on Thursday by U.S. District Judge David Norton.
"There's nothing in Michael Slager's background, from birth to today, of any racial animus or any harassment of minority members of the community", his attorney Andy Savage said, countering assertions that the officer acted violently because Scott was Black. In the recording, which was captured by a bystander, the 50-year-old Scott was seen hurrying away as the officer fired a volley of rounds at the driver's back.
A 3-D expert testified for the defense that the taser could've landed behind Slager because Scott threw it there, or it fell and bounced behind him. Slager contended he was securing the weapon.
The judge also found that Slager, 36, obstructed justice when he made statements to state police after the shooting.
A pre-sentencing report for Slager found that he committed manslaughter and recommended 10 to almost 13 years in prison. He said that Slager and Scott had physically struggled before the shooting, and that explained the officer's state of mind.
Convictions in police officer shootings are uncommon in the US and prison time is even rarer. But only Slager and former state trooper Sean Groubert, who shot a man as he tried to get his wallet during a seat belt violation check, will have been sent to prison.