A federal grand jury on Wednesday handed up a three-count indictment against former North Charleston, South Carolina police officer Michael Slager in the fatal shooting of Walter Scott on April 4, 2015, according to a statement from Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division, and U. S. Attorney Bill Nettles of the District of South Carolina.
Slager was charged with a federal civil rights offense, using a firearm during the commission of the civil rights offense, and obstruction of justice. The statement reads:
The indictment alleges that Michael Slager, while acting as an NCPD Officer, used excessive force when he shot and killed Walter Scott without legal justification. Slager was also charged with obstruction of justice for making false statements to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigators with the intent to impede the investigation into the shooting. The indictment alleges that Slager intentionally misled SLED investigators by claiming that Scott was coming toward him with a taser at the time that Slager fired his weapon, when in truth, Scott was running away.
If convicted, Slager, who is White, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for the civil rights violation, as well as a potential $250,000 fine.
Local authorities have already charged Slager with murder. He was fired from the force after a passerby filmed him shooting Scott, a 50-year-old African-American father of four, in the back during a traffic stop.
SOURCE: Department of Justice | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty