Former South Carolina Policeman Who Killed Unarmed Man Is Indicted on Federal Charges, Pleads Not Guilty
The former policeman, who fired eight bullets—five of which hit unarmed man Walter Scott—was charged with deprivation of rights under color of law, use of a weapon during commission of a crime of violence, and obstruction of justice.
Slager chased and later shot Scott after a traffic stop in South Carolina on April 4, 2015, according to court documents.
“The indictment alleges that Slager intentionally misled [state] investigators by claiming that Scott was coming toward him with a taser at the time that Slager fired his weapon, when in truth, Scott was running away,” the Department of Justice said in a statement.
His state trial is scheduled for Oct. 31.
As far as today’s federal charges go, if Slager is convicted, he would have faced a maximum sentence of life in prison for the civil rights violation, as well as a potential $250,000 fine, according to the Justice Department.
According to ABC4 News, at the arraignment hearing that took place today at 1:30 p.m. in U.S. District Court in downtown Charleston, Federal prosecutors said that Attorney General Loretta Lynch would not be seeking the death penalty for Michael Slager.
Slager was released on $500,000 bail earlier this year and has been under house-arrest since January.
Today’s case was investigated by the FBI’s Columbia Division and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).