In a plea deal with prosecutors, former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager admitted to using excessive force in the 2015 shooting death of Walter Scott.
Slager shot Scott in the back as the unarmed man was running away from Slager after a traffic stop. In a reversal from his previous account, Slager admitted in court Tuesday that he did not shoot Scott in self-defense and said that his use of force was unreasonable.
Scott’s death sparked renewed “Black Lives Matter” protests after the 50-year-old became the latest in a series of unarmed black men killed by police.
With his family and Scott’s family present, Slager pleaded guilty Tuesday in US District Court in Charleston to a federal charge of deprivation of rights under the color of law. In exchange for the plea, state murder charges, as well as two other federal charges, will be dismissed.