Michael Slager, the former police officer who shot and killed Walter Scott, an unarmed black man in South Carolina who was running away, has pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights charge, according to reports.
Slager pleaded guilty to one count of excessive force that deprived Scott of his rights in exchange for a plea agreement. The agreement will keep any further charges being filed against Slager, including the state murder charge that ended in a mistrial.
Slager was indicted on both state murder and the federal civil rights charges. In December of last year, the state murder trial was declared a mistrial when the jury could not come to an agreement on whether or not Slager had committed a crime.
In the April 2015 traffic stop, Scott ran, leading Slager to chase him. Slager maintained that Scott tried to take his Taser and shot Scott in self-defense. However, video showed the Taser falling to the ground, Scott running and Slager shooting at him from behind. Experts said the first shots were fired from about 17 feet away.
Slager fired eight shots in 2.7 seconds.
In a statement, Slager’s lawyers said, “We hope that Michael’s acceptance of responsibility will help the Scott family as they continue to grieve their loss.”