South Carolina man shot by trooper speaks out on TV for first time
A South Carolina man gave his first television interview after being shot by a state trooper during a routine traffic stop. A warning: some viewers might find this video disturbing. Trooper Sean Groubert asked, "Can I see your license please?" Levar Jones, who was unarmed, was shot in the hip. He is still recovering from his injuries and is currently using a cane.
After Groubert asked if he was hit, Levar Jones explained, "I think so. I can't feel my leg. I don't know what happened; I just grabbed my license."
Former Trooper Sean Groubert says he had stopped Jones for a seat belt violation. He's been charged with aggravated assault and battery and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The 31-year-old was fired from his job as a state trooper following the shooting.
The video of the incident wasn't released until two weeks after the Sept. 4 shooting. Jones and his lawyer appeared on the "Today" show and said that was a tough time for Jones because, for a lot of people, his side of the story didn't seem to add up.
"It's the weeks that I had to go through looking people in the eye and telling them: 'Basically I pulled over at a gas station, an officer asked me for my identification and when I reached for my identification I was shot at.'"
"It's shocking, and it's very disturbing,'' Jones said of the event. "Me personally, I wasn't the only person that was affected by this. I know total strangers that have met me after the fact and told me they started crying."
This, of course, comes after a number of cases in which white policemen shot unarmed black men. The most high-profile case led to clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. The officer in that case, Darren Wilson, has not been charged with a crime.
Groubert has been released on $75,000 bond. His lawyer says there is more than one way to interpret the video.
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