SHOT!!! For a Seat Belt Violation!
September 24, 2014
On Sept. 24, dash camera video was released to the public by the South Carolina Highway Patrol of an stunning encounter between a state trooper and a man in Columbia, South Carolina.
The video was taken from the dash camera installed inside 31-year-old state trooper Sean Groubert’s vehicle during an encounter in which Groubert shot unarmed 35-year-old Levar Jones on September 4th, 2014 for an alleged seat belt violation.
The incident took place at a Circle K gas station on Broad River Road in Columbia, South Carolina.
Groubert was charged Wednesday with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in connection with the incident. Bond was set at $75,000.
In the video, Jones can be seen getting out of his car when Groubert pulled up and asked for his license. Jones reached in his car for his license and Groubert immediately shot at Jones several times.
Jones was hit by one bullet in the hip. He is recovering at home after being hospitalized for the injury.
While shooting at Jones, Groubert yelled “Get out of the car, get out of the car.”
Jones replied,”I just got my license, you said get my license.”
Groubert responded by telling Jones to get on the ground.
While on the ground Jones said, “I have my license right here, you said get my license.”
In the video Groubert can be heard asking Jones if he was hit by a bullet and went on to say, “Bro, you dove head first back into your car.”
[CAUTION: VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED: Some may find the below video disturbing]
After seeing the video in court, Groubert’s attorney, former Fifth Circuit Solicitor Barney Geise, says that his client is not guilty and is looking forward to his day in court.
South Carolina Department of Public Safety Director Leroy Smith fired Groubert September 19th after observing the dash cam video and reviewing a report from the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
In dismissing Groubert, Smith called the facts of the case “disturbing.”
The charges filed Wednesday were brought by the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s office, which also reviewed SLED’s findings.