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South Carolina City to Pay Walter Scott's Family $6.5m in Police Shooting Settlement

The payout for the death of the unarmed black man at the hands of a white police officer was the largest pre-lawsuit settlement in the history of South Carolina and one of the largest in the United States, the family's lawyer said.

by Reuters and VICE News
Oct 9 2015, 3:02pm

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The family of Walter Scott, the unarmed black man who was shot in the back by white police officer Michael Slager following a traffic stop in April, will receive a $6.5 million settlement from North Charleston in South Carolina, city officials said Thursday.

"I am glad the city and the family were able to reach a settlement without the necessity of a lawsuit," North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey said in a statement.

A bystander had filmed Slager shooting the 50-year-old Scott as he ran away from the officer in a park. The footage reignited a national outcry over police treatment of minorities.

Slager was indicted for murder in June and stripped of his badge. He faces 30 years to life in prison if found guilty.

Related: Cop Who Fatally Shot Fleeing, Unarmed Man in the Back is Charged With Murder

Chris Stewart, an attorney for Scott's family, noted that the payout was the largest pre-lawsuit settlement in the history of South Carolina and one of the largest in the United States. He said it would take care of Scott's four children for the rest of their lives.

Scott's mother, Judy, said the settlement is little comfort for the loss of her son, but that she was grateful for the city's offer of compensation.

"It could have been a trillion dollars. It would never bring my son back. But I thank them for what they did," she said.

The settlement comes after New York agreed to pay $5.9 million to the family of Eric Garner, whose death in 2014 after being put in a chokehold by police officer Daniel Pantaleo was captured on video by an onlooker.

Baltimore officials said last month that the city would pay $6.4 million to the family of Freddie Gray, whose death from an injury in the back of a police transport van in April sparked protests and rioting. Six officers have been charged in his death.

Related: South Carolina Cop Laughed About Adrenaline Rush After Fatally Shooting Walter Scott

Reuters contributed to this article.

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Michael Slager
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