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North Charleston approves $6.5M settlement with Walter Scott's family

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. -- North Charleston City Council has unanimously approved a motion for a $6.5 million settlement with the family of Walter Scott, reports CBS affiliate WCSC.

The North Charleston City Council approved the settlement by a 10-0 vote Thursday.

The council had met several times in the past few months to receive advice from city attorney Brady Hair on a potential lawsuit by Scott's family.

The 50-year-old Scott was shot April 4 by North Charleston officer Michael Slager while trying to run from a traffic stop. A bystander recorded the shooting with a cellphone.

"Our family is pleased that we have resolved the civil portion of Walter's death with the City of North Charleston," said Walter Scott's brother, Anthony who was in attendance at the announcement, reports WCSC. "While nothing can replace having Walter in our lives, the City of North Charleston historic actions ensure that he did not die in vain."

Slager was fired following his arrest on the murder charges and has been detained in solitary confinement. The bystander's cellphone video showed Slager firing eight times as Scott ran.

"This settlement is a step in the right direction for the family, the city, the Lowcountry, and our state," Mayor Keith Summey said, reports WCSC."This will allow us to move forward and focus on the issues our citizens have elected us to do, advance quality of life and make the future brighter for the citizens of North Charleston."

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The shooting inflamed the national debate about how blacks are treated by law officers. Before the video was brought to the attention of authorities, Slager had told investigators that Scott tried to grab his gun and Taser.

But prosecutor Scarlett Wilson said Scott was running away and the only time Slager could be seen running was to go back, pick up the Taser and then drop it by Scott's body.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, Scott's family called for peace. Some have credited the family's action -- along with the officer's speedy arrest -- with staving off the protests and violence that have erupted in other cities where unarmed black men have died during encounters with police.

Slager faces from 30 years to life in prison without parole if he is convicted of murder. There were no aggravating circumstances such as robbery or kidnapping, so the death penalty doesn't apply in the case, the prosecutor has said.

Scott's family said that a portion of the settlement will be donated to assist in flooding relief in the state.

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