The conviction of a former South Carolina cop has finally disrupted the devastating pattern of the unrebuked killings of Black men by police.
On Thursday, Michael Slager who fatally shot Walter Scott as he ran away from in 2015, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the killing. Slager alleged the shooting was an act of self-defense. But video footage later showed Scott posed no threat given the 50-year-old was seen running in the opposite direction of the ex-cop. Slager was consequentially let go from the North Charleston Police Department for the 2015 killing.
During the sentencing hearing, Scott’s mother told Slager she forgave him. The Scott family attorney told reporters the ruling in the case was “historic.”
Newsweek reports prior to Thursday, the 2009 convictions of three cops marked the most recent instance in which the justice system held cops accountable for killing an unarmed Black person. The victim was Kathryn Johnson, an older Black woman whom three officers shot a total of 39 times after firing at them once with her pistol.