Health Care

Ex-South Carolina trooper sent to prison for shooting unarmed black motorist

Ex-South Carolina trooper sent to prison for shooting unarmed black motorist”

A former SC state trooper who shot an unarmed motorist in 2014 was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Tuesday, but is expected to serve around three years behind the fence.

Circuit Court Judge Casey Manning said Groubert was sentenced to 12 years, suspended upon service of five years, and three years probation with credit for time served. Patrol auto video of the incident showed Jones with his hands raised as he was shot.

What happened? On that fateful day three years ago, Groubert was pulling out of a Circle K convenience store on Broad River Road when he noticed 35-year-old Levar Edward Jones entering the parking lot.

The shooting gained national attention because Groubert is white, and Jones is African-American. After 17 months of time served, Groubert will stay in prison for roughly 3 1/2 years unless he is released on good behavior.

Wearing a jail jumpsuit and shackled in chains at his sentencing hearing, in a Columbia courtroom, the former trooper apologized to Jones.

Instructed by Groubert to produce his identification, Jones reportedly reached for his back pocket only to find he had left his wallet in his vehicle.

Jones was shot on September 4, 2014, less than a month after Michael Brown was killed by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri, sparking days of racial unrest. Groubert's boss fired Groubert after seeing the video. Jones could be heard asking, "What did I do, sir?"

After the shooting, "I was treated like an animal being put in a cage", Jones said. "Why did you shoot me?"

Groubert also told Jones that he prays for him every night and that he did nothing wrong.

"I realize now that I misread body language", Groubert told the judge.

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