SC Killer Cop Cites Sessions’ Memory Lapses in Defense

Attorneys for former South Carolina cop Michael Slager, who faces sentencing next week for shooting a man who was running away from him, argue that Slager’s failure to recall details of the confrontation is akin to the Swiss cheese memory exhibited by Attorney General Jeff Sessions during testimony about the Trump campaign’s Russian contacts.

With his sentencing scheduled next Monday, a court memorandum submitted by attorneys for former North Charleston, S.C., Police Officer Michael Slager argues for leniency, comparing the ex-cop’s apparent memory loss to that of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, reports CBS News. The sentencing judge must consider whether Slager lied about his conduct and concocted a story about being attacked by Walter Scott, whom Slager shot and killed in April 2015. A graphic video captured by a bystander showed Slager firing eight shots at Scott’s back as he ran from the cop.

Attorneys Andy Savage and Donald McCune claim expert testimony supports their assertion that “memory created under stress has many holes.” The holes, they argue, are eventually filled in when outside information is incorporated with the help of having someone “fill in the blanks.” Savage and McCune broadly cited Sessions’ testimony earlier this month, when he could not recall the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian operatives. “As Sessions made clear in his statement, a failure to recall, or an inaccurate recollection, does not a liar make,” the attorneys wrote in their brief. Slager’s murder ended with a deadlocked jury, but he pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights charge earlier this year. He faces from five to 20 years in prison at sentencing next week.