CAUGHT ON TAPE: SC Cop Shoots Unarmed Man, Now Faces Charges
A South Carolina state trooper is facing charges after opening fire on an unarmed man during a traffic stop earlier this month.
Shocking dashcam video has just been released by authorities. Sean Groubert, 31, was arrested Wednesday and now faces 20 years in jail if convicted on charges of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.
The victim, Levar Jones, was wounded at least once in the hip and is recovering. He had been stopped for an alleged seat belt violation.
In the video, Jones walks back to his car and reaches for something. After being wounded, Jones is heard yelling that he was getting his driver's license.
The full traffic stop video, released by police, is shown below:
In a press release, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety explained its firing of Groubert.
After my review of the facts surrounding this matter, I have determined that Mr. Groubert’s actions rose to such an extent that his employment with us must be terminated. The facts of this case are disturbing to me, but I believe this case was an isolated incident in which Mr. Groubert reacted to a perceived threat where there was none. The department’s Use of Force Policy makes clear that officers shall use “only the level of force necessary to accomplish lawful objectives” and that “the use of force must be discontinued when it becomes apparent to the officer that the force is no longer needed.” That protocol was not followed in this case.
Further, this incident occurred in broad daylight. Mr. Groubert had a clear and unobstructed view of Mr. Jones. While Mr. Groubert was within the law to stop Mr. Jones for a safety belt violation, the force administered in this case was unwarranted, inconsistent with how our troopers are trained, and clearly in violation of Department policies. These violations demonstrate behavior that deviates from SCDPS standards and cannot be tolerated.