I’m happy a federal judge sentenced former cop Michael Slager to 20 years behind bars for killing an unarmed black man by shooting him in the back as he ran away.
But I’m angry about what the victim’s family said to Slager before the judge sentenced him to prison.
They told Slager several times they forgave him for killing Walter Scott, a son, a father and a brother.
You hear this too often from blacks.
Dylann Roof shot to death nine black people during Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015.
Church members told Roof they forgave him before he was even arraigned and before members had buried their loved ones.
Roof, an admitted white supremacist, said nothing in response, unlike Slager who said he was sorry.
But Slager was repentant because he got caught. He initially claimed he shot to death Scott following a minor traffic stop on August 4, 2015 in North Charleston, S.C., because Scott attacked him and that he feared for his life.
A bystander using a camera phone photographed Scott running away and Slager shooting him in the back five times. If it wasn’t for the bystander, Slager would still be a cop instead of a convicted felon.
A jury deadlocked on convicting Slager, but he pled guilty in federal court to violating Scott’s civil rights which got him locked up for a very long time.
Black people are forgiving people, but these instances of seeming knee-jerk forgiveness are detrimental for our psyches, positioning us at odds with what might indeed be our truer feelings of outrage. —Frederick H. Lowe and Susan M. Miller