Scott Family Says Plea Represents Justice

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -
In this 2016 file photo, former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager (R) walks from the Charleston County Courthouse under the protection of the Charleston County Sheriff’s Department after a mistrial was declared for his trial in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Mic Smith, File)

An attorney for the family of a black motorist shot to death by a white South Carolina police officer says justice has been done with the officer’s guilty plea.

Chris Stewart told reporters on Tuesday that the family of Walter Scott is thankful for the help and support shown to them by local and state officials after the 50-year-old motorist’s April 2015 death.

But Stewart pointed out that verdicts against officers like Michael Slager are rare. Stewart says it’s the job of citizens to hold their public officials accountable, and to object whenever the justice system treats officers differently from civilians.

Stewart spoke after Slager pleaded guilty in federal court to violating Scott’s civil rights. Prosecutors dropped state murder charges as part of the deal.

Scott’s brother Anthony also spoke, saying this represents a victory for his family which can now begin to heal.