If Scott had murdered killer Cop Michael Slager, He Would've Faced Execution

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killer Cop Michael Slager. CNN TV screen shot

[Speaking Truth To Power]

This week killer-cop, Michael Slager, was given a 20-year sentence by a federal judge for cold-bloodedly murdering Walter Scott—shooting him five times, in the back as he fled on foot in slow motion—after Slager pulled Scott over during a traffic stop on April 4, 2015.

The killer had the temerity to ask for reduced time claiming he feared he wouldn't be safe in prison because he's a cop and due to the nature of his crime. The verdict is widely being hailed as a victory—mostly because police who often murder Black people with impunity usually pay no price for doing so. America’s police have always had a “license to kill” when it comes to Black people.

Yet Black America should be cautious not to overcelebrate this sentence—given the fact Slager should’ve been given a life-sentence for the totality of his crimes. On Thursday, after four days of waiting and anticipating, 36-year-old Slager was sentenced to two decades by Judge David C. Norton. Scott, 50, had been a Coast Guard veteran.

The sentence was handed down in Charleston Federal District Court. Judge Norton ruled Slager shot down Scott with “malice and recklessness.” No Judge Norton, he did it with murderous malice. To say Slager was “reckless” does not adequately describe his murderous intent. Judge Norton found Slager guilty of second-degree murder and obstruction of justice. “This is a tragedy that shouldn’t have happened,” said Norton. Unfortunately, these so-called tragedies will continue until politicians, prosecutors and judges severely punish brutal killer-cops for their crimes.

In a nation where cop crimes against Black people are always being excused and covered-up, it is understandable why many, including Scott’s family, are pleased with this sentence. But we should keep this in mind: if the roles were reversed, and Scott had killed Officer Slager, Scott would be facing execution in death penalty state of South Carolina. “Officers rarely receive any prison sentence at all for their crimes, and while Officer Slager is receiving what some may see as a strong sentence, we know that no punishment can repair the hole left in the lives of his loved ones,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The fact is that Walter Scott should be alive today.”

Scott’s younger brother, Rodney Scott, said the family was “pleased,” with the verdict. "We got justice," he said. “Hopefully, it sets the platform for the future. I hope that other families that are still trying to get justice will get justice.”

Given the pain the family has endured the comments are understandable.

Scott family lawyer, Chris Stewart, signaled the ruling’s importance. "I hope that the entire nation understands how big this is and what this means for everybody. ... This is all people crave: accountability," Stewart said. "If the death of Walter Scott ... can make the next officer think one second longer before pulling that trigger and changing an entire nation, then it was all worth it."

The Walter Scott ruling is indeed important because this measure of justice was obtained despite the institutional racism within America’s so-called justice system. The Scott family got a semblance of court justice because the evidence of Scott’s murder was made so blatantly obvious as a result of the brave actions of Feiden Santana, who risked his life to document Slager’s criminality, and expose him to the world. This verdict was not secured by a fair legal system meting justice impartially. Santana’s actions secured this verdict. He is the real hero here.

In fact, if one listens clearly to Judge Norton’s words, we see an example of the favorable bias that is routinely given to all police. Judge Norton commented that "judging by (Slager’s) history and characteristics, he has lived a spotless life," but, "regardless, this is a tragedy that shouldn’t have happened."

Hhow does Judge Norton know that Slager lived a “spotless life"? Cop culture covers up cop crimes, even as they talk about “a few bad apples." Are we to believe someone who would murder another humanbeing in such a cold-blooded manner as Slager did, and then calmly plant evidence --the stun gun he walked over and dropped near Scott's body-- could have been living a “spotless life” before the incident?

Judge Norton characterized the murder as a “tragedy” that somehow had a sort of accidental character to it. Judge Norton is acting here as if there is some redeeming quality about Slager and that he just made a “reckless” mistake in the “heat of passion,” as some of Slager’s defenders have argued. This kind of sentiment will surely set the stage for an early release for this monster when they then tell us he’s being freed for “good behavior.”

Let’s briefly recap what this murderer did. He fired five shots into the back of Scott. Slager then planted a Taser next to Scott --all captured on Santana's video--to bolster the lie he would then late perjure himself telling; he claimed he had engaged in a life and death struggle with Scott for the Taser. One wonders how they expected to explain the five bullets in the back of Scott if they had been facing each other.

Assuming for a second we were to believe that Slager had engaged in a struggle with Scott for the Taser would that justified the summary execution? This idiocy is part of the ridiculous reasonings and excuses we’re given for Slager's deadly actions.

There are some other troubling things to consider. During sentencing, the United States Probation Office, reportedly, recommended to Judge Norton that he charge Officer Slager, not with murder, but with voluntary manslaughter. If Judge Norton had agreed to this, that would’ve meant Slager’s sentence would've been, at max, 13 years. Who authorized officials at the United States Probation Office to suggest such an inappropriate sentencing for the cold-blooded murderer? Over the last few months, we’ve heard a lot of bloviating bull about disrespect for the military by Donald Trump.

If Walter Scott had been a White man killed by a Black person, we would be hearing about why the Black “thug” should be locked under the jail. Moreover, if Walter Scott had killed Officer Michael Slager he would’ve been tried under capital murder charges—and media coverage would’ve been extensive. In this instance, one could hardly tell the importance of this case by the paucity of press coverage on the so-called mainstream media sources. Truly shameful.

In recent weeks numerous stories have appeared about sexual harassment and assault against a multitude of women by many powerful men from nearly every segment of America; many of the culprits have fallen. Democrats are now talking about “zero tolerance” for sexual harassment. This is a welcome sign and will become even more legitimate when the stories of Black women—the most sexually exploited of all women—are finally heard from.

However, we must ask this: why can’t Democrats demand “zero tolerance” against police who brutalize and murder Black people as well? We don’t expect those hypocrites in the Republican Party, like Trump, to address this.

Shouldn’t we expect Democrats who will be seeking Black votes in a few months to finally stand up and denounce, in the strongest terms, killer-cops like Michael Slager?

Black Americans must seize the time and continue to fight police brutality and murder.

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