South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Sean Groubert opened fire on an unarmed man during a routine traffic stop earlier this month.
Groubert, 31, pulled over Levar Jones, 35, for a seat belt violation on Sept. 4. Dashcam video of the incident released Wednesday shows Groubert’s patrol car pulling up behind Jones’ vehicle at a gas station. Jones gets out of the vehicle and Groubert asks for his license.
Then, as Jones reaches back in his vehicle, Groubert opens fire.
Groubert fired at least three shots while yelling at Jones to “get on the ground.” Jones quickly collapsed on the ground with his hands up. In the video, he can be heard moaning in pain and asking why Groubert shot him.
Jones was not armed or acting aggressively and the shooting was described as happening “apparently without provocation.”
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety fired Groubert last week. In a news release, DPS seemed baffled by the shooting: “For reasons that only Groubert can articulate at this point, he fired his service weapon multiple times while yelling repeatedly for Mr. Jones to ‘get out of the car.’”
DPS Director Leroy Smith added that the case was “disturbing.”
Prosecutors charged Groubert with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. The maximum penalty for the charges is 20 years in prison.
Groubert’s bond was set at $75,000.
Jones was struck in the hip. He was initially hospitalized, but has since been released.
An unidentified California Highway Patrol officer is under investigation after getting caught on video beating a woman about the head a dozen times with no apparent indication that he was in danger.
KNBC-TV reported on Thursday that the incident was filmed Tuesday afternoon in Los Angeles by motorist David Díaz as he was making his way onto Interestate 10.
Díaz’s 90-second clip begins with the officer catching up to the woman on foot. She appears to walk away from him, before the officer takes her to the ground. After a brief struggle, the officer begins pummeling her with punches to the head. The woman can be seen covering up and not fighting back.
“He basically got on top of her, and it’s basically a UFC ground-and-pound move,” Díaz told KTLA-TV. “It’s basically full force, punching her in the head.”
After the flurry, a second man enters the frame and helps the officer restrain the woman. KNBC reported that the other man was a plainclothes officer at the scene.
“She was screaming,” another witness, Daina Tate, told KNBC. “Two men were on her. They had her arms up. She couldn’t defend herself. She looked totally helpless and terrified. It was shocking, and you can’t really call the cops on the cops.”
A third witness said to KNBC that the unidentified woman was not wearing any shoes at the time of the encounter and was carrying “lots of bags.”
The CHP did not identify the circumstances leading up to the encounter, but released a statement saying it was under investigation.
“As a matter of policy, every time there is a use of force by our officers, there is a review conducted to determine whether the use of force was appropriate,” the statement read. “That will be done in this case, however, since there is an ongoing investigation, it would be premature to comment on this specific video segment without reviewing the entire incident.”
Source: RAW STORY