Columbia, S.C. –Levar Edward Jones, who was shot by a Highway Patrol trooper in early September of last year, will receive a $300,000 settlement from the state stemming from the incident.
The incident, which the Free Thought Project reported upon initially after it took place on September 4, 2014, began when trooper Sean Groubert pulled Jones over for allegedly not wearing a seat belt.
Dash cam from the trooper’s cruiser recorded the interaction.
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After being pulled over, Jones could be seen exiting his vehicle, at which point Groubert asked for his license.
When Jones reached to grab his license, Groubert began shooting at him.
While shooting at Jones, Groubert yelled, “Get out of the car, get out of the car.”
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To which Jones replied,”I just got my license, you said get my license.”
The trooper can be seen in the footage firing four bullets at Jones in less than five seconds, with one striking Jones.
Amazingly, Jones had enough composure to raise his hands up in surrender while being shot at, yet Groubert continued to fire on the surrendering man.
Groubert was subsequently fired by the Highway Patrol shortly after this incident. The S.C. Department of Public Safety stated that the trooper had violated several patrol agency policies, used too much force for too long and misread Jones as a threat.
In addition, Groubert currently faces charges of felony assault and battery punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
With the egregious nature of the trooper’s offenses, it’s heartening to actually see a law enforcement professional being held accountable for their actions under color of law. Unfortunately, the taxpayers will also be held accountable, for a crime that they did not commit.
Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, freethinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay's work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.