Note: this video contains violence.
A white South Carolina police officer accused of the video-taped shooting of a fleeing, unarmed suspect pleaded guilty Tuesday to a single federal civil rights violation.
A video of Officer Michael Slager shooting and killing 50-year-old Walter Scott was secretly taken in 2015 by a passerby.
The video has been viewed millions of times online and on television.
It was a key factor in the North Charleston Police Department’s decision to abandon its initial backing of the shooting.
The deal with federal and state prosecutors includes Slager’s guilty plea to one count of a three-count federal civil rights indictment. (PDF) In exchange, federal prosecutors will drop two lesser charges.
South Carolina prosecutors, under the deal, will not retry the 36-year-old Slager.
In December, after four days of deliberations, a 12-member Charleston County jury announced it was hopelessly deadlocked, and a mistrial in the state’s murder case was declared.
Slager faces a maximum life term when sentenced in federal court later this year, though that length of a term is not likely.
In South Carolina’s murder case, a murder conviction would have netted Slager a 30-year-to-life term.
South Carolina jurors also considered and were deadlocked on a voluntary manslaughter charge, which carries a term of two to 30 years.
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