Transcript for South Carolina Ex-Cop Charged in Walter Scott's Shooting Death
A major new development this evening in the case that captured national attention. Federal charges have been filed against Michael Slager, after the shooting death of Walter Scott in South Carolina in this field. Slager shooting Scott eight times. Tonight, an historic move from the federal government against the officer. ABC's Steve osunsami was in the Charleston courtroom as the indictment was read. Reporter: 34-year-old Michael Slager is now the first. The first former police officer from one of the many racially charged police shootings, to face federal charges. Registration and insurance card? Reporter: It all started with this traffic stop and a broken tail light a little over a year ago. No registration in there, no insurance? No, he has all that stuff. Reporter: 50-year-old Walter Scott, worried about child support issues decided to run. And here's where the federal grand jury says Slager went too far. Handcuffed and shackled in court today, he heard the three charges, including allegedly lying to investigators before this video, first revealed by ABC news, told a different story. The most serious charge means life in federal prison if he's convicted. Deprivation of civil rights under the color of law accuses him of abusing his authority as a law enforcement officer, by using unreasonable force. Slager is pleading not guilty, saying it was self-defense. Outside court, Walter Scott's mother wept for her son. I thank god for justice, and I claim it and I stand on the word. Reporter: Slager is home tonight, wearing a gps tracking device, and using the same half a million dollar bond from his state murder case. For now, that trial is still scheduled for October. David?
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.