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Son seeks stiff penalty for South Carolina policeman who killed his father

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The son of a black South Carolina motorist killed by a white police officer as he fled a 2015 traffic stop asked a federal judge on Wednesday to sentence the former patrolman to life in prison for the death of his father.

“He murdered the one and only father I had,” Miles Scott, the 17-year-old son of Walter Scott, said in an emotional statement in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

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U.S. District Judge David Norton could decide as soon as Wednesday the punishment for former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager. Slager pleaded guilty in May to violating Walter Scott’s civil rights in the April 2015 shooting.

The case drew national attention after a bystander’s video of the shooting became public, fueling fresh concerns about how minorities are treated by police in the United States.

The video showed Slager firing his gun at 50-year-old Scott eight times as he ran from a traffic stop, hitting Scott five times from behind. Scott, who was pulled over for a broken brake light, was unarmed.

A state murder trial ended last December with a hung jury.

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As part of the federal sentencing proceedings, Norton will decide whether Slager’s underlying crime was second-degree murder, as prosecutors contend, or voluntary manslaughter, which carries a lighter sentence.

Prosecutors say the shooting was deliberate and calculated. The defense disagrees and their witnesses testified this week that enhanced images and audio from the video supported Slager’s account that he felt threatened after Scott tried to take his stun gun.

Miles Scott, the only son out of Walter Scott’s four children, said he missed his father so much it left him sleepless most nights.

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“My dad will never see my future kids, his grandchildren, and I know he would have loved them as much as he loved me,” said the teenager, speaking softly. “I still can’t believe he’s gone.”

(Reporting by Greg Lacour; Writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump aides desperately try to downplay ‘order’ to US companies to leave China

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Donald Trump's top aides on Sunday downplayed the idea of US companies being forced to abandon China any time soon, as an edict from the president ordering businesses to start looking for alternatives has been met with skepticism.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economics advisor Larry Kudlow took to the airwaves from France, where Trump is participating in the G7 summit, to smooth out tensions in the business community prompted by Trump's Friday tweet.

Trump said he has "no plan now" to bring US companies in line, and his aides quickly reinforced the message.

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Trump sparks confusion at G7 before doubling down on China tariffs

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President Donald Trump doubled down Sunday on his hard line against China after sowing confusion with statements that he might be willing to soften a trade war G7 partners fear threatens the world economy.

At the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Trump announced a major trade deal with Japan and promised more of the same with Britain, once Brexit is done.

But the positives were overshadowed by a mix-up over his apparent expression of regret for the latest escalation in the US-China dispute.

"I have second thoughts about everything," he conceded to reporters when asked if he regretted his decision on Friday to ramp up tariffs on all Chinese imports, worth some $550 billion, in retaliation for Beijing's earlier hike of levies on US goods.

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Persecuted Christians eye long-sought freedom in Sudan

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Sudan's Christians suffered decades of persecution under the regime of Islamist general Omar al-Bashir. Now they hope his downfall will give the religious freedom they have long prayed for.

Deep within the maze of dusty alleys that honeycomb Omdurman, Khartoum's sprawling twin city, Yousef Zamgila's church is not visible from the street.

It is hidden in the courtyard of a friend's home and consists of a few iron benches, a pulpit and crosses hastily painted on pillars holding a corrugated roof.

"The previous centre got destroyed because we didn't have the right papers. They always refused... So we use the land of our neighbours," says the Lutheran reverend.

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