The officer asked the unarmed man to provide his license and registration. The man is seen reaching back into his car as to comply with the officers request. At this point the unarmed Black man is subsequently shot four times. The incident was filmed on the officer’s dash cam and can be seen above.
Huffington post reports that ‘Sean Groubert, 32, could be sentenced to 20 years in prison for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. He fired multiple shots at Levar Jones and struck him once in the hip at a gas station in 2014.’
Jones luckily survived the shooting and limped into court to hear former officer Groubert enter the guilty plea.
The officer was fired after South Carolina Department of Public Safety Director Leroy Smith reviewed the video.
Although, this is an ongoing case it is interesting for many reason.
- The officer has pleaded guilty unlike many other cases of unarmed civilians being shot.
- The officer could have said he thought his life was in danger; he will most likely use this defense still for mitigating circumstances to lessen his conviction.
- Is this case an issue of racism or merely fear? Fear in respects that it would seem American police officers are too quick to draw their gun out in potentially confrontational situations. The question then becomes is this fear based on fearing/criminalizing/stereotyping black people or merely fearing the loose gun laws in America that allows gun ownership to be so prevalent? An argument could be made for both cases.
‘Young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers in 2015, according to the findings of a Guardian study that recorded a final tally of 1,134 deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers this year.’ Guardian
What are your thoughts?
Do you think this officer choice to shoot an unarmed Black man was racial motivated or merely poor training/ the poor choice of a fearful officer?
What are your thoughts on the cases that are more clear-cut than this?
Please comment below and share this video to challenge someone to think a little deeper.