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Former Officer to Face Charges in Shooting of Unarmed Black Man

In this April 4, 2015, frame from dashboard video provided by the North Charleston Police Department, Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager stands by Walter Lamer Scott's car during a traffic stop in North Charleston, S.C.

A South Carolina grand jury has indicted a white former police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man fleeing after a traffic stop.

Michael Slager was fired and accused of murder in the April 4th killing of 50-year-old Walter Scott. Slager, a police officer at the time, pulled Scott over for driving with a broken brake light.

Slager initially said he opened fire after Scott had taken his electronic stun gun during a scuffle.

A video, taken by a bystander with a cellphone camera, showed Scott running away as Slager pulls his gun and fires eight shots.

Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson said if convicted of murder, Slager would face between 30 years and life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The South Carolina incident is one of the latest in a series of fatal encounters in the United States between unarmed black males and white police, including the shootings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio, and the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York City.

The incidents led to large protests across the nation over aggressive police tactics in minority communities.

The U.S. Justice Department has launched investigations into possible civil rights violations by police in a number of the cases.