Columbia, SC — State Trooper Sean Groubert has been fired and faces 20 years in prison for gross negligence during a seat belt stop.
On September 4, 2014 Groubert pulled over 35-year-old Levar Jones at a Circle-K gas station. During the stop Jones exited his vehicle at which point Groubert asked for his license.
When Jones went to get his license Groubert began shooting.
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.”
Amazingly enough, Jones had the composure to put his hands up while being shot at, yet Groubert still fired on the surrendering man.
Groubert kept 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 asks Jones if he was hit by a bullet. Then he tries to imply that it was Jones’ fault that he just shot at him, “Bro, you dove head first back into your car.”
When asked why he was pulled over Groubert told Jones that it was a “seat belt violation,” to which Jones responded, “I just pulled my seat belt off right there.”
Luckily for Jones, Groubert is an apparent failure as a marksman and only one of the four rounds fired at point blank range struck Jones. He was hit in the hip and is now recovering at home after being hospitalized.
According to WLTX News, South Carolina Department of Public Safety Director Leroy Smith fired Groubert September 19th after observing the video and reviewing a report from the State Law Enforcement Division. 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. Groubert faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Barney Guise, an attorney for Groubert, says his client is not guilty and looks forward to his day in court.