Son of slain black man wants life in prison for ex-officer

Remigio Civitarese
Dicembre 7, 2017

Scott, who wept at one point during his brief appearance, appeared in federal court on the third day of a sentencing hearing for former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager. "As life goes on, my father will never see me play high school football, graduate from high school, graduate from college", said Miles Scott as he held back tears.

"Your honor, I miss my dad so much I can't sleep at night", the young man said". Slager has pleaded guilty to violating Scott's civil rights.

Slager has been in jail since pleading guilty in May to violating Scott's civil rights.

Fredericks also said his analysis showed taser wire was wrapped around Slager's leg and was connected to Scott right before the shooting. He called the shooting death of his father a "murder".

Wade Humphrey, who trains North Charleston Police Department officers, testified for the defense on Wednesday that Slager used the correct level of force and followed protocol during the shooting.

When Judge Norton asked Humphries whether he believed Scott's killing constituted a "righteous shooting", Humphries simply replied, "No".

Earlier, forensic psychiatrist Charles Morgan testified, after reviewing an evaluation of former officer, that Slager is "not impulsive" and that stress could have affected his recollection of the encounter with Scott. The testimony was meant to bolster the ex-cop's claim that Scott had reached for his stun gun.

Norton this week heard prosecutors contend that Slager maliciously killed Scott and call for him to spend the rest of his days behind bars. The judge will impose the sentence. Federal sentencing officials have recommended between 10 to almost 13 years in prison. But federal prosecutors are seeking a life sentence, arguing Slager committed second-degree murder. A microphone on Slager's uniform also picked up Scott saying, "F-k the police" after Slager asked him to get on the ground, the expert testified. But he said he did not see anyone kick or throw a punch. According to Hallimore, after filtering out noise, he could hear Slager telling Scott to let go of his taser.

The defense is arguing that Scott grabbed Slager's stun gun and had an altercation with him on the ground, which can not be clearly seen in the bystander's video. "Walter Scott never took the defendant's Taser", Fishman said.

"I don't know of any cases why a law enforcement officer would intentionally move a weapon to a suspect", the witness said. A bystander caught the shooting on video.

Wednesday morning, Scott's lawyers, Andy Savage and Don McCune, continued to present a parade of expert witnesses. "Nothing in his background from birth to today shows signs of any racial bias".

On the day of the shooting, Slager likely was carrying more than 25 pounds of police equipment and had run some 200 yards after Scott before catching him, Humphries said.

Slager first pulled Scott over for a broken taillight.

David Hallimore, an audio expert who analyzed the audio from the traffic stop and cell phone video, testified that when Slager chased Scott after the traffic stop he could hear the exhaustion in Slager's voice. Slager opened fire as Scott ran away for the final time.

The defense said that North Charleston's homicide rates have gone up following the possible chilling effect of Slager's 2016 state murder charges.

He argued that even at 18 feet away, Scott posed a threat and could have turned around and charged him.

During his exam, Slager told the doctor he remembered having a "scuffle" with Scott but otherwise didn't recall specific details from any fight the men had.

Hallimore says he perceived Slager was in real trouble.

That's when Slager said he pulled the trigger. Unlike his state trial, it's taking place only before a judge, with no jury. Solicitor Scarlett Wilson issued a statement in May, after Slager's plea in federal court to deprivation of rights under color of law, saying it was unnecessary for her office to prosecute Slager again.

Meridith Edwards reported from Charleston.

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