Source: USA Today
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A former South Carolina state trooper who shot an unarmed man was charged Wednesday with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.
Sean Groubert, 31, was booked at the Richland County Detention Center. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
The charges were brought by the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, which reviewed the findings of an investigation into the incident conducted by the State Law Enforcement Division.
A warrant states that audio and visual recordings, as well as written statements, indicate the shooting was without justification.
Local police involved in 400 killings per year
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety fired Groubert on Friday after a review of the same SLED report. Public Safety Director Leroy Smith said Groubert did not follow protocol when he shot 35-year-old Levar Jones at a Circle K store in Columbia after a traffic stop on Sept. 4.
Smith said Groubert asked Jones to get out of his car during the stop, and when Jones went to get his license out of his vehicle, Groubert began yelling “get out of the car” and shot Jones.
Jones suffered an injury to his hip. His attorney said Jones is recovering after a stay in the hospital.