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Cop who shot Walter Scott in the back as he fled sentenced to at least 19 years in jail

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Former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager has been sentenced to at least 19 years in jail over the killing of Walter Scott, a black man whom Slager had shot in the back as he was trying to flee.

ABC News reports that U.S. District Judge David Norton ruled on Thursday that Slager must serve a prison sentence of between 19 to 24 years for both committing second-degree murder and obstructing justice.

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Slager fatally shot Scott in 2015 while he was an officer at the North Charleston Police Department. Shortly after the shooting occurred, an eyewitness video emerged showing that Scott had turned around to flee from Slager during a confrontation the two men had — at which point, Slager took out his firearm and shot Scott in the back.

The video directly contradicted Slager’s assertion that he only shot Scott because he felt his life was in danger. After the video emerged, Slager was fired from his job at the North Charleston Police Department.

Despite this clear video evidence, however, a jury late last year was unable to reach a verdict on Slager’s guilt, and the judge in the case eventually declared a mistrial.

“The state retrial and federal trial were expected to take place this year, but instead, in May Slager pleaded guilty to violating Scott’s civil rights in federal court, ending the federal case against him and also resolving the state charges that were pending after the mistrial,” reports ABC News.

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Sondland is in ‘tremendous trouble’ no matter how he tries to change his testimony tomorrow: NYT columnist

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On Tuesday, in the wake of testimony from several witnesses in the impeachment hearing that broadly implicated EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland in improper backchannel foreign policy, New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali suggested that Sondland is in "tremendous trouble" — and that no testimony he could give tomorrow will get him out of this mess:

No. He will be trying to save himself. The perjury plus multiple stellar witnesses paint a damning portrait. He's in tremendous trouble. https://t.co/CxN5w0EErb

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Even the Republican witnesses make Donald Trump look like a depraved criminal

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The second half of Tuesday's hearing offered something new in the Donald Trump impeachment inquiry: Witnesses called by the Republican minority on the House Intelligence Committee. It's understandable why Republicans would want these two men.

One of them was Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council aide who is among the few people directly exposed to Trump's famous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who claims to believe there was nothing wrong with it. The other was Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, who appears to have been a major actor in Trump's extortion scheme in that country. Indeed, Volker was deemed one of the "three amigos" — along with Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Trump donor/EU ambassador Gordon Sondland — who Trump entrusted with Ukrainian relations as he exerted increasing pressure on the country's leaders to give into his extortion scheme.

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Impeachment: Trump’s ‘hearsay’ defense just crashed and burned

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In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

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