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Ex-South Carolina State Trooper Charged Over Traffic Stop Shooting

Former South Carolina state trooper Sean M. Groubert is charged in the shooting of an unarmed driver during a routine traffic stop.
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A South Carolina state trooper who was fired after being captured on video shooting an unarmed driver during a routine traffic stop was arrested on Wednesday. Lance Corporal Sean M. Groubert was charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in connection with the shooting in a gas station's parking lot, which was filmed by a camera in his patrol car.

On Sept. 4, Groubert pulled over Levar Edward Jones for a seatbelt violation in Columbia, South Carolina, and subsequently shot the unarmed man in the hip. In newly released video, Groubert is heard asking Jones for his license. As Jones reaches into his car, the officer is seen moving quickly while pointing his gun and shouting, "Get out of the car!" He then fires four shots at Jones as he falls backwards away from the car with his hands in the air. Groubert cuffs the injured driver, who can be heard asking, "What did I do, sir?" Groubert then asks Jones if he was hit. "Why did you shoot me?" Jones asks, to which the former officer responds he shot because "you dove head-first back into your car." The South Carolina Department of Public Safety fired Groubert last week. A South Carolina prosecutor asked the U.S. Attorney's Office to review the case. The charges carry a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, according to NBC station WIS.

Image: Sean M. Groubert
Former South Carolina Department of Public Safety officer Sean M. Groubert.Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center
— Richie Duchon