A former South Carolina state trooper was sentenced to 12 years, but is only expected to serve about 5 years in prison for shooting and injuring an unarmed black motorist during a 2014 traffic stop.
Sean Groubert shot and injured Levar Jones after pulling him over for not wearing his seat belt. Video footage from the dashcam shows Jones pulled into a gas station and got out of his vehicle, then Groubert pulled up behind him.
When Groubert asked for his license, Jones turned went his vehicle to obey the command, then Groubert immediately started shouting and shot several times. As the shots went off, Jones was seen throwing his hands into the air and falling to the ground.
After the shooting Jones could be heard asking, “What did I do, Sir? Why did you shoot me?” Groubert cuffed Jones and left him on the ground until an ambulance arrived.
Jones was hit once in the hip and ultimately received a $285,000 settlement after the incident, reported The Root.
Groubert, 34, was fired from the state Highway Patrol and pleaded guilty last year to assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.
On Tuesday, Circuit Court Judge Casey Manning sentenced Groubert to 12 years in prison but suspended the time to five years and then gave him credit for the 17 months that he had already served in jail after pleading guilty. He will only have to serve his full sentence if he violates probation after his eventual release.
As Groubert sat in his sentencing hearing, he apologized to Jones, asking for forgiveness.
“I screwed up,” Groubert told Jones. “I pray that one day you’ll be able to come to peace with this and forgive me.”
“It took eight seconds,” Jones told Judge Manning concerning the shooting at the sentencing, where he asked for Groubert to receive the maximum sentence of 20 years.
“I was treated like an animal being put in a cage,” Jones said about the incident.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)