COLUMBIA, SC – Cops in South Carolina know “who” and “what”, but the big question is “why”?
Here’s what happened. A traffic stop for a possible seatbelt violation. Then the driver ends up on the ground, shot by a state trooper.
And now former South Carolina state trooper of the year Sean Groubert is out of a job and facing 20 years in prison if convicted of “assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature”, as they call such things in South Carolina.
The trooper’s dash camera caught the shooting on video.
Trooper: Are you hit?
Victim: "I think so! I can't feel my legs. I don't know what happened. I just grabbed my license . . . Why did you shoot me?
Trooper: Well, you dove head first back into your car.
Groubert’s attorney says he thought Lavar Jones was reaching for a gun.
Trooper: "It's a seatbelt violation sir."
Victim: "Seatbelt! I just pulled it off right there at the corner to pull into the gas station! Ahhh!"
Groubert’s attorney says there’s more than one way to look at this video. Standing on your head is probably not what he’ll tell the jury.