Michael Slager pleads guilty in connection with killing of Walter Scott

iStock/Thinkstock(NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- Former North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to using excessive force in the shooting death of unarmed black man Walter Scott, bringing a conclusion to the case two years after the police shooting was caught on video by a bystander.

The plea deal in federal court will end the federal case and also resolve the state charges that were still pending after a mistrial was declared in Slager's state murder trial last year.

Slager's mother and Scott's mother both wept in court as the 35-year old former cop was led away in handcuffs.

Slager, dressed in a gray suit, said very little, answering "yes" to each of the judge's questions about whether he was aware of the various rights he was surrendering.

Slager's attorney, Andrew Savage, said in a statement before the hearing, "We hope that Michael’s acceptance of responsibility will help the Scott family as they continue to grieve their loss."

Slager, who is white, was accused of killing Scott, an unarmed black man, at a traffic stop on April 4, 2015, while Slager was an officer with North Charleston's police department. Video that surfaced shortly after the encounter appears to show the moment Slager fatally shot Scott as he ran away. The video garnered national attention, propelling Slager into the spotlight. He was fired from the force after the shooting.

Slager was charged in South Carolina with murder and pleaded not guilty. The case ended in a mistrial in December 2016 and the retrial was expected to take place this year.

The federal trial had been expected to take place later this month. The federal court indictment alleges Slager "used excessive force when he shot and killed Walter Scott without legal justification," the Department of Justice said.

A sentencing date has not yet been determined, Savage said.

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