3rd day of ex-officer Michael Slager's sentencing wraps up

3rd day of ex-officer Michael Slager's sentencing wraps up

"Today, no matter what sentence I give, neither the Scott family nor the Slager family will think it is right".

A federal judge ruled Thursday that a former SC police officer committed second-degree murder when he shot an unarmed black motorist to death. Grant Fredericks, a forensic video expert, testified that his analysis showed Slager fought with Scott before their fatal encounter and the ex-officer said: "Let go of my Taser before I shoot you".

The case drew national attention after a bystander's video of the shooting became public, fueling fresh concerns about how minorities are treated by police in the United States. That includes the use of Slager's stun gun, which the former officer says Walter Scott grabbed and turned on him, causing Slager, who is white, to fear for his life and shoot in self-defense, firing five times into his back as he ran away.

Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said she had interacted with federal prosecutors but couldn't recall specific contacts and hadn't planned prosecutorial decisions with them.

Slager, who has been in jail since his plea, had pulled Scott over for a broken brake light in April 2015.

During closing arguments, prosecutor Jared Fishman disputed that story.

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. After Norton ruled Thursday, attorneys began calling friends and relatives of both men to tell the judge the effect Scott's death and the officer's arrest have had on their lives.

For three days, attorneys representing the federal government and a former SC officer charged in an unarmed black motorist's shooting death have presented technical testimony to a judge considering how much time Michael Slager should spend in federal prison.

Andy Savage said Thursday he felt it would be appropriate for Michael Slager to receive about 19 years in prison for shooting a black motorist to death in 2015. Slager chased him for 200 yards and, then, the two men scuffled.

At this week's hearing, attorneys for Slager and the state called expert witnesses to the stand to bolster rival interpretations of the video and audio, which included some dash-cam footage from Slager's auto. "He grabbed my Taser", Slager is heard telling dispatchers.

"It was so surreal this happened that morning", Judy said as she recounted listening to her son on the phone while he was running from Slager.

In the dashcam video, Slager is asking Scott questions about insurance and vehicle ownership.

During his state trial previous year, Slager testified that he feared for his life when Scott grabbed for his weapon and charged at him.

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