A South Carolina man who made national headlines after a video surfaced of him being shot by a police officer as he was getting his driver’s license was awarded $285,000:
Levar Edward Jones was paid $285,000 through the state’s Insurance Reserve Fund, Scott Hawkins, spokesman for the fund said Tuesday. The settlement was reached Oct. 3, within a month of the Sept. 4 incident when trooper Sean Groubert fired shots at Jones after the officer pulled Jones over for not wearing a seat belt.
Jones, 35, is black and the unarmed motorist sustained a bullet wound to his hip.
I don’t see what being black has to do with it. It could have just as easily happened if he was white.
As a sidebar, we are long past the time to repeal the law that makes it okay to pull someone over for a seat belt violation. It’s just an excuse to go on a fishing expedition and make a little extra tax revenue.
And while it’s all fine and dandy that the taxpayers must foot the bill for former Trooper Groubert’s itchy trigger finger, a personal and professional price must be paid for almost killing an innocent person or else our paramilitarized police forces are going to continue unabated:
Groubert was fired shortly afterward by the Highway Patrol for misreading Jones as a threat, using too much force for too long and violating several patrol agency policies, the S.C. Department of Public Safety, the patrol’s parent agency, said at the time.
Groubert also was charged with a felony, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. That charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Too often, these kinds of incidents are swept under the rug and an internal investigation reveals that everything went by The Book. Congratulations to Mr. Jones for surviving to see some Justice in this world. If there hadn’t been a video of the incident, he probably would have gotten nothing.