A former South Carolina police officer will plead guilty in federal court to violating the civil rights of an unarmed black man he fatally shot.
Michael Slager, formerly a patrol officer in the North Charleston Police Department, shot Walter Scott in the back after Scott ran away following a traffic stop in April of 2015.
The incident was caught on video by a bystander. The video was widely shared around the internet, viewed millions of times, and set of a firestorm of criticism for Slager’s handling of the situation.
Slager had faced both murder charges and federal civil rights charges in connection with the shooting. State prosecutors are dropping the murder charge, according to a copy of the plea agreement obtained by the Associated Press.
Slager claimed during his trial last year that he was justified in shooting Scott — eight times according to the video — because he was “scared,” The Washington Post reported in November. Slager’s trial on state murder charges ended in a hung jury.
Here’s the dash cam footage from Michael Slager’s vehicle preceding the shooting. The shooting is not shown in this video: