More than two years ago, the fatal shooting of Walter Scott, an unarmed black motorist, by a white South Carolina police officer set off a wave of national protests over the use of lethal force.
On Thursday, Michael Slager, who was fired as a North Charleston policeman days after the shooting, was sentenced to 20 years behind bars. Slager pleaded guilty to violating Scott’s civil rights and as part of the plea agreement reached in May the prosecutors dropped state murder charges. District Judge David Norton said Slager shot Scott with “malice and recklessness” and then gave false testimony to investigators. Norton ruled that Slager, 36, was guilty of second-degree murder and obstruction of justice. He also sentenced Slager to two years of supervision after his release.