On April 4, 2015, an unarmed black man named Walter Scott, was fatally shot in North Charleston, South Carolina. Walter Scott was shot by officer Michael Slager, a white officer from North Charleston. Michael had stopped Scott because of a non-functioning brake light. Slager was immediately charged with murder after a video of him surfaced, showing the officer shoot Scott from behind while he was fleeing, which contradicted the officer’s report on the incident. The race difference between the two led many to believe that the shooting was racially oriented and generated widespread controversy.
The case was handed over to be investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. The FBI and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division also carried their independent investigations. In June 2015, a South Carolina based grand jury indicted Slager on a charge of murder. In December 2017, officer Slager was sentenced to a jail term of 20 years with the judge determining Slager’s underlying offense as second-degree murder.