We’ve all seen the movies, you might have even been pulled over yourself and asked the timeless Highway Patrol catchphrase “License & Registration Please Sir (or Madam).” That is exactly the phrase that 35 year old Levoy Jones of South Carolina heard from State Trooper Sean Groubert on September 4th this year.
Jones reached into his glove box to reach for his licence when Groubert opened fire with his semi-automatic police issued handgun. Mr Jones staggered away after being shot in the hip and raised his hands over his head. As Mr Jones cried in pain waiting for an ambulance, he repeated one question: “Why did you shoot me?” Mr Groubert responded, “Well you dove head first back into your car.”
The State Trooper has been charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison. He was released after paying 10 per cent of a $75,000 bond.Mr Groubert’s lawyer, Barney Giese, said the shooting was justified because the trooper feared for his life and the safety of others.
Whilst Mr Groubert’s guilt or innocence remains in the hands of the Court the issue of race relations between Police and African-American’s is once again front and centre – Mr Jones is African American, Mr Groubert is white and was commended as the ‘State Trooper of the Year’ in 2007.
Next time you hear the catchphrase ‘Licence and Registration’ you might think twice before complying…..
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