A South Carolina state trooper was arrested and charged with aggravated assault Wednesday for shooting an unarmed driver whom he had stopped for a seatbelt offense, AP reports.
According to WLTX-TV, former trooper Sean Groubert, 31, was also fired from the force last week following an investigation led by the State Law Enforcement Division.
Groubert’s dashboard camera captured the incident, showing the white officer, stopping Levar Jones, who is Black, at a convenience store parking lot near Columbia on Sept. 4.
"Can I see your license please?" Groubert asked Jones.
As Jones, 35, reached into his car to retrieve his ID, the former trooper began shouting, “Get outta the car, get outta the car.” Groubert then fired at Jones four times, hitting him in the hip, and told him to drop to the ground.
Jones repeatedly asked the former trooper, “Why did you shoot me?” while waiting for an ambulance.
Goubert, who was released after paying a portion of his $75,000 bond, could face up to 20 years in jail if convicted. His lawyer, Barney Giese, claims Goubert’s actions were justified because he feared for his life and the safety of others.
"I thank God every day that I am here with a story to tell and hope my situation can make a change,” he reportedly said.
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(Photo: AP Photo/South Carolina State Police)