Judge: Ex-South Carolina cop committed murder

Attorney: Ex-cop who shot black man had no 'racial animus'

Attorney: Ex-cop who shot black man had no 'racial animus'

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A federal judge has ruled that a former SC officer committed second-degree murder when he shot an unarmed black motorist to death. Prosecutors had argued that Slager committed second-degree murder, while the defense claimed his offense was, at most, voluntary manslaughter. "I'll let the court make that decision".

Words used by both Walter Scott and Michael Slager were the highlights of testimony from experts brought on by Slager's defense team, during day two of the sentencing hearing. She then looked directly at him.

"I'm not angry at you, Michael". But mainly the family just talked about Walter.

The bystander started recording after the struggle between Slager and Scott. At the end of it, a judge will decide whether he thinks the civil rights violation was voluntary manslaughter or murder. A year ago, a state judge declared a mistrial when jurors deadlocked.

The former officer pulled Scott over on April 4, 2015, for a broken brake light. A bystander's cellphone video of the fatal chase went viral, and Slager was charged with murder in a case that became a rallying point for the Black Lives Matter movement.

At issue was Slager's state of mind and the facts of the physical altercation that preceded the shooting-including whether Scott had handled Slager's Taser and what was said between the men. During the murder trial, Slager's attorney said his client shot Scott because he was in fear for his life. (In a presentencing memo, Slager's lawyers even cited Jeff Sessions' memory lapses while under oath to justify discrepancies in Slager's accounts.) Prosecutors, meanwhile, argued that Slager's choice to shoot a fleeing man showed malicious intent and warranted a punishment of life in prison.

Testimony is expected to continue Wednesday with possible testimony from Walter Scott's son.

The judge also found that Slager, 36, obstructed justice when he made statements to state police after the shooting.

Anthony Imel, an Federal Bureau of Investigation expert specializing in audio and video analysis, testified Monday how he enhanced Santana's video to highlight where Slager's stun gun lay, on the ground, several feet behind the officer as he ran after and shot Scott. "It took me a long time". In this case, the abuse was the killing of Scott. But under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a vocal opponent of police reform, the DOJ has refused to release its resulting report to the public, and has ended the police review program altogether.

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.

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