Former cop found guilty of second-degree murder in shooting of unarmed black man

Former cop found guilty of second-degree murder in shooting of unarmed black man

A former South Carolina police officer was sentenced to 20 years in prison after a federal judge ruled that he committed second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man.

The judge ruled Thursday that Michael Slager, a former North Charleston officer, also obstructed justice with his statements to state police following the shooting, ABC News reported.

Slager, who is white, shot Walter Scott in April 2015 following a traffic stop.

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Slager has been in jail since May, when he pleaded guilty to violating Scott's civil rights, The Associated Press reported. He had faced murder charges in state court, but those charges were dropped as part of a federal plea deal.

A video of Slager shooting Scott five times in the back went viral in 2015, shocking the public and inflaming the debate about how police use deadly force. After the shooting, Slager was fired.

Slager has argued that he shot in self-defense.

- This story was updated at 12:33 P.M. EST