US: Officer who killed black motorist pleads guilty

2015 shooting death of Walter Scott during traffic stop led to public outcry

US: Officer who killed black motorist pleads guilty

World Bulletin / News Desk

 A South Carolina police officer on Tuesday admitted to violating the civil rights of an unarmed black man he fatally shot in the back during a traffic stop.

Michael Slager might face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of using excessive force in the 2015 shooting death of Walter Scott, which caused nationwide uproar.

A murder charge has been dropped as part of a plea deal Slager struck with federal and state officials.

"We hope that Michael's acceptance of responsibility will help the Scott family as they continue to grieve their loss," Slager's attorney, Andy Savage, said, according to media reports.

The former police officer had claimed that Scott, 50, came toward him with a stun gun when he opened fire during the incident in the city of North Charleston.

Video footage of the incident, captured by a bystander, showed Scott fleeing when Slager shot him five times in the back.

The video, viewed millions of times online, was widely condemned and led to calls for accountability, resulting in Slager's dismissal from the police force and his subsequent indictment.

Scott's family later reached a $6.5 million settlement with the city of North Charleston.

Scott’s death was one of a number of killings in 2015 and 2016 that provoked nationwide debate about law enforcement’s use of lethal force, particularly in cases involving black Americans.

On Tuesday, media reports emerged claiming that two white officers involved in the shooting death of a black man, Alton Sterling, last year in Louisiana will not be prosecuted.

The July 5 killing of Sterling in the city of Baton Rouge, and the killing of another black man, Philando Castile, by police in Minnesota the next day, led to massive Black Lives Matter protests.

Tensions rose further after a heavily armed army veteran killed five officers and wounded nine others during a protest on July 7 in Dallas, Texas.

In another police shooting incident, Texas police officer Roy Oliver was fired from the force on Tuesday, after killing a black teenager by firing into a car full of teenagers Saturday night in Balch Springs, the city's police department announced.

Authorities have launched an investigation and could press charges.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Mayıs 2017, 08:11