Michael Slager & Ten Things We Need to Remember Prior to His...

Michael Slager & Ten Things We Need to Remember Prior to His Sentencing

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In a plea deal with federal prosecutors, the case that many of us here in Charleston, SC, around the low country, and around the world have been watching for months; Michael Slager did something we’ve rarely seen in these cases.  On Tuesday, May 2nd, Slager plead guilty to violating the civil rights of Walter Scott causing his death after a routine traffic stop in April 2015.

Walter Scott became one of many unarmed black men in the United States who have been gunned down by police, and this trial, like so many others brings added anger and animosity to a small city, and a country already on the brink of patience that is slowly being depleted.

In a strange turn of events, Michael Slager entered a guilty plea during the federal trial.  This decision caused many folks to celebrate; believing that this was finally the confession everyone has been waiting on for over a year.  However, the plea made others extremely suspicious, because this leaves many wondering what sort of punishment (if any) would the officer get for a sole, civil rights violation?

While we wait to see how the judge will handle the penalty phase of this two-year saga, here are 10 important things to know about the upcoming sentencing for Michael Slager:

  1. Michael Slager plead guilty to a single charge of violating the civil rights of Walter Scott by shooting him without justification. Specifically, “willfully depriving Scott of the right to be free from the unreasonable and excessive force used by police” – he DID NOT plead guilty to murdering Walter Scott

  2. As of May 2, 2017, murder charges against Michael Slager have been dropped; also, some fed/state charges have been dropped, including lying to investigators AND using a firearm in a violent crime – all were a part of his plea deal

  3. The state cannot reissue murder charges against Slager

  4. The plea specifically states: “The defendant used deadly force even though it was objectively unreasonable under the circumstances”

  5. The charge of violating Scott’s civil rights carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, and no minimum penalty – meaning Slager could get life OR time served

  6. The plea does not specify how much, if any, time will be served

  7. A U.S. District Judge will decide the punishment for Slager at a hearing scheduled on a later on this week

  8. The Slager plea is not a reason to celebrate.  This plea sets a precedent for the public to pay attention to the current administration, including Jeff Sessions who already has a controversial past.  The public should also continue to review their local elected officials and many of the people tied to this trial

  9. There will be a demonstration May 23rd to object to the plea deal for Michael Slagerblf

  10. Never Forget Feidin Santana.  Without Santana risking it all to not only film the murder of Scott, but to overcome language barriers, and to return to SC to testify – We may have never even gotten to the point of a plea

 

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