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Former white cop sentenced to 20 years in U.S. for killing unarmed black man

Xinhua,December 08, 2017 Adjust font size:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- A white former police officer in the U.S. state of South Carolina has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for fatally shooting an unarmed black man two years ago.

A federal judge in Charleston, South Carolina, sentenced 36-year-old Michael Slager, a former North Charleston police officer who shot unarmed Walter Scott multiple times from behind as the black man was running away during the April 4, 2015, shooting.

"No matter what sentence I give, neither the Scott family nor the Slager family is going to like it or think it's right," said U.S. District Judge David Norton, who found that Slager had committed second-degree murder.

Norton said Slager "acted out of malice and forethought, shooting dead an unarmed and fleeing Walter Scott." The judge labeled the ex-cop's actions as "disproportional to Scott's misconduct."

Slager said he fired the shot in self-defense when Scott took his Taser. He was prosecuted last year for murder, but the case ended in a hung jury. In May, Slager pleaded guilty to a federal charge of violating Scott's civil rights.

"With my actions that day, Walter Scott is no longer with his family, and I am responsible for that," Slager said before sentencing. "I wish this never would have happened."

The shooting triggered a national debate amid a series of shootings across the country over police brutality in 2015.

Officials in North Charleston reached a 6.5 million settlement with Scott's family in 2015. Enditem