Ex-Cop Michael Slager Is Appealing Sentence After Guilty Plea

Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Dec. 7.

Charleston, SC – Michael Slager, the former North Charleston police officer who was sentenced to 20 years in prison after he fatally shot Walter Scott in the back, announced that he plans to appeal his sentence on Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge David Norton imposed the sentence on Dec. 7, after Slager, 36, pleaded guilty to a civil rights violation in the 2015 death of Scott, 50, who was running away from Slager when he was shot, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The court has yet to file a written order outlining the reasons for the sentence, but on Wednesday, Slager’s attorney, Andy Savage, asked a court clerk to file a notice of appeal as soon as the order is completed.

"There are issues in the sentencing proceeding that we are concerned about," Savage said.

He declined to specify the reasons for the appeal.

"No decision will be made as to exactly what we will do or what we may appeal until we have time to thoroughly analyze the sentencing order," Savage said, according to The Post and Courier.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Norton said he consulted with his wife, a pathologist, regarding Scott’s autopsy.

When Slager’s attorneys took issue with the judge relying out information he obtained outside the hearings to determine punishment, the judge told them to address their concerns with an appeals court.

The shooting occurred during the morning of April 4, 2015, when then-officer Slager stopped a vehicle for a non-working brake light.

He approached the vehicle and made contact with Scott before returning to his patrol car to check Scott’s driver’s license.

Scott then got out of his vehicle and fled. Slager pursued him to a nearby lot behind a pawn shop and the two got into a struggle.

Slager used his Taser cartridges to no effect, and there was a struggle over the Taser before Scott fled again.

Slager drew his gun and fired eight times at Scott as he was running away.

Scott was struck five times, three times in his back, one time on his upper buttock, and one time on an ear.

A forensic pathologist testified at Michael Slager’s trial that the fatal shot entered Scott’s back and struck his heart and lungs.

After the incident, Slager was fired, charged with murder, and released on $500,000 bond.

An eyewitness to the shooting recorded the incident on his cell phone.

The video showed Slager as he ran to retrieve his Taser off the ground. He then dropped it near Scott’s body, which gave the impression of an attempted cover-up.

The judge declared a mistrial on Dec. 5, 2016, after the jury deadlocked during deliberations.

State prosecutors planned to retry the murder case, but agreed to dismiss the charge in exchange for Slager’s admission of guilt for the federal civil rights violation offense.

Slager is incarcerated at the Charleston County jail, where he will remain until he is assigned to a federal prison, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

I Vociferously agree Slager should be set free if he can run 25 yards without getting shot in the back.


No mention of the Fleeing Felon Law which at first glance gave him the right to shoot. Interesting that this relevant issue has been almost totally omitted in the national news coverage of this event.


Don't resist arrest and this would not have happened. Scott ran from the cop and then fought the cop adn people wonder why he got shot? Who cares if he was running away?


Effing auto-correct: Coverdale = covered

@DieselDawg In order for an officer to shoot a fleeing suspect, the officer needs probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm, and the reasonableness of alternatives to deadly force would be considered as well. The officer must also, when feasible, issue a warning prior to using deadly force on a fleeing suspect ("Stop or I'll shoot.") The use of force must also be found to be objectively reasonable considering the officer's training and experience - that is, other officers with the same training and experience would believe that that use of force was reasonable. When considering the circumstances, it would be unreasonable for Slager to claim that he had probable cause to believe that Walter Scott posed a significant threat to the public, and he didn't give a verbal warning.


Thanks for the info KTA. I had not followed this case closely but every time I read an article or commentary on it the Fleeing Felon issue was never discussed. Good to see that CNN explored this issue in April of 2015 right after it happened.

@SnarkyCop solid explanation.



I've gotten suspicious lately regarding incidents like this, where in the past I would not have. There doesn't seem to be any reason why Scott would flee. No further information on that is given here. That shifts my suspicion to the officer. Police need to stop killing so often.