Supreme Court says it won’t hear appeals case of South Carolina ex-cop who shot unarmed black man

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said it wouldn’t hear the case of Michael Slager, the white North Charleston police officer who received 20 years in prison for fatally shooting an unarmed black man in 2015, according to a report.

Slager was sentenced to 20 years in prison in December 2017 for fatally shooting 50-year-old Walter Scott, a black motorist, in 2015. Slager’s attorneys had argued that their client had shot Scott in self-defense. Scott was hit in the back.

Walter Scott, left, was fatally shot by Michael Slager, right, in 2015. 

Walter Scott, left, was fatally shot by Michael Slager, right, in 2015.  (Charleston County Sheriff's Office)

Prosecutors dropped state murder charges In exchange for Slager pleading guilty in federal court to violating Scott’s civil rights. Had Slager been convicted of murder, he likely would’ve faced life in prison. The case quickly became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Slager’s attorneys appealed the case to the Supreme Court in April, arguing that he was sentenced with guidelines for second-degree murder rather than voluntary manslaughter.

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The justices met last Thursday to decide whether to move forward with the case. Their denial for hearing, along with other cases, was announced Monday, WSCSC reported. Though legally not required to do so, the justices did not provide a reason why they declined to hear Slager’s case, the station reported.

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Slager, 38, remains imprisoned at Englewood Federal Correctional institution, a minimum-security facility in Littleton, Colo. – about 15 miles southwest of Denver.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.