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When Police Go To Prison: Walter Scott Ruling 'Very Rare'
Thu Dec 7, 2017 6:29pm

Video evidence helped seal the fate of a white former police officer who will spend two decades in prison for a crime that law enforcement is rarely held accountable for—the killing of an unarmed black man.

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced ex-South Carolina patrolman Michael Slager to 20 years in prison for the shooting death of Walter Scott in April 2015. Outside the courthouse, Scott family attorney Chris Stewart hailed it as one of the longest sentences ever for a police shooting, calling the decision “historic.”

Officers are seldom convicted for on-duty shootings, and a judge’s ruling that Slager will serve two decades is even more unheard-of, according to a criminology expert.

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