Former State Trooper To Be Arrested

EX-S.C. HIGHWAY PATROLMAN TO BE CHARGED IN SHOOTING INCIDENT The white S.C. Highway Patrol trooper who opened fire on a black suspect during a traffic stop earlier this month will be arrested for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, sources tell FITS. Lance Corporal Sean M. Groubert…


The white S.C. Highway Patrol trooper who opened fire on a black suspect during a traffic stop earlier this month will be arrested for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, sources tell FITS.

Lance Corporal Sean M. Groubert shot 35-year-old Levar Edward Jones in the leg after apprehending him three weeks ago on a seat belt violation.

That’s right … in South Carolina the police have the right to pull you over, detain you and fine you for exercising your right not to wear your seat belt.

Fifth circuit solicitor Dan Johnson originally termed Groubert’s shooting of Jones “clean,” although the officer was fired from his job with the Highway Patrol last week following an investigation of the incident by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

Groubert will be represented by former fifth circuit solicitor Barney Giese.  Jones is represented by S.C. Rep. Todd Rutherford.

UPDATE: Here’s the dash-cam video …

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Most cops=sociopaths September 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Can’t wait for the rush of cops posting more excuses here again like the last FITS write up.


CorruptionInColumbia September 24, 2014 at 4:10 pm

I agree about releasing the video. This may, or may not, settle the debate about who was wrong. Being on the opposite end of the debate from where I gather you are, I can’t help but wonder if they aren’t throwing the Trooper under the bus for political expediency. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time such has happened in this country.

RogueElephant September 24, 2014 at 8:51 pm

I get the feeling this guy was a real loser. The cops usually stick together and stick up for each other. For them to turn on one of their own seems out of character. Might be more to the story. The video would help.

But... September 24, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Just remember that Dan Johnson said it was “clean”.

If the Feds really are running around town, maybe they’ve even got the Stop & Lets Eat Donuts crowd scared.

Levon McCutcheon September 25, 2014 at 12:12 am Reply
Jamie Crater September 24, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Pray for the Trooper it doesn’t look good.

Of course September 24, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Pray for him? Tell you what, I’m gonna pray for the guy he shot over a seat belt violation. That guy deserves a prayer a little more.

TruthSeeker2020 September 25, 2014 at 1:27 am

Pray that big Bubba handles him in the pen!! That’s the prayer for the pig.

mr pringles September 25, 2014 at 3:14 am

hi god, and jesus, if you watched the tape, please have that pig put down and roasted in hell. amen. anybody like some ribs?

Bible is Fiction September 25, 2014 at 7:49 am

Dear Big Man up in the sky, please allow this criminal ex-cop to get away with a crime. And I want a new car and a raise, thank you. There done

Uh huh September 24, 2014 at 10:56 pm

“This may, or may not, settle the debate about who was wrong.”

Yea, I think this pretty much settles it conclusively:

CorruptionInColumbia September 25, 2014 at 1:37 am

Yes, it doesn’t look good for the Trooper. The guy doesn’t appear to be hostile, but does reach (dive) inside rather quickly which would justify the Trooper drawing his weapon and ordering the guy to stop his movement. Unfortunately I counted two shots AFTER the man raised his hands, the first of which may have been justified as reflex that the Trooper was unable to stop in time, the second of which, will be pretty hard to justify.

shifty henry September 25, 2014 at 9:35 am

Just a quick note here. Having ridden with cops, both city and county, and during both day and night tours, and listening and learning about them both as cops and individuals, my conclusion after watching the video several times, is that this was an extremely unfortunate incident.

Groubert should have either ignored the seat belt violation since Jones had already pulled into the station or just give him a verbal warning.

Jones could have told Groubert that (after touching his rear pocket and immediately realizing that his wallet was on the seat) that his wallet was on the seat. But wanting to comply with Groubert’s order he did quickly reach for it. And, I would have reacted exactly the same way as Jones because sometimes I put my wallet on the seat.

Groubert overreacted because there was no immediate threat to him from a firearm but a split-second perceived threat – only because of the quickness of the moves by Jones.

After Jones is down Groubert acts professionally.

Shitty situation for both of them all the way round. If Groubert is legally guilty of the charges, I would say that God couldn’t split a hair any finer.

I also agree with the comments that politics are involved in this case in an attempt to avoid a situation similar to Ferguson, MO.

Bobby Wain September 25, 2014 at 10:43 am

“After Jones is down Groubert acts professionally” you mean after he realized he just shot an UNARMED MAN, FOR NO REASON, ON VIDEO, after approaching an “alleged” seat belt violator WITH HIS GUN DRAWN

CorruptionInColumbia September 25, 2014 at 12:06 pm

I know one cop who did not write seat belt violations when he was on the job. Like some of us on here, he said it was not the government’s job to harass people for personal habits which were endangering no one else.

Tazmaniac September 25, 2014 at 9:59 am

It’s a push to me. Both appear culpable for what happened. I think a previous incident has affected the Troopers perception and timing and the driver is incredibly stupid, but was most likely influenced by the legal issue he had outstanding. The driver appears to have tried to show good co-operation in an effort influence the Officer towards leniency. He reached in his vehicle way to quickly for a clear thinking person. The Trooper should resign and leave the business, but I feel he has been overcharged.

Bobby Wain September 25, 2014 at 10:48 am

you are sick. now you get shot for obeying a pig?

Levon McCutcheon September 25, 2014 at 12:05 am

The video has been released. The trooper should be in jail and the fifth circuit solicitor should resign for having claimed this was a “clean” shooting.

It is a shame that it took so long to arrest this criminal trooper.

Hello Cuckoo September 25, 2014 at 12:07 am

You’re crazy.

Native Ink September 25, 2014 at 9:36 am

No, watch the video. It is completely clear what happened. Even the “suspect” can’t believe it. He’s on the ground, shot in the leg, asking the policeman why he opened fire. What’s amazing is that at least three shots missed the “suspect.” This shooting happened right outside a gas station. It’s lucky that no one else was shot.

one flew over the nest September 25, 2014 at 10:02 am

I just watched the video from the police car cam (its been released and is already on youtube by the way), The trooper is 100% percent in the wrong. The guy was parked and already out of his car when the trooper got to him and asked for his license and registration with out even telling him why. The man then turned to get it and got shot for doing so. The registration is kept in a glove box, as every other persons in the worlds is. The officer wasted no time in assuming the worst with nothing to back that up. There is no way after someone actually watches this video anything else can be derived other than the officer for no reason other shot the man for a false assumption based only on the mans color and should be in jail. I respect the law, I respect the people that protect the law and citizens, but this guy is clearly not capable of doing this based on his actions, and complaints previous to this incident. No justification for this at all. The only people that say there is either didn’t watch the video, are prejudice, are just saying that to troll, or flat out retarded. I don’t know which one you are. Until I saw the video I would not cast a judgment, or an opinion, but after seeing this for him not to have been brought up on charges earlier means someone tried to fix the problem for him, and they should also be charged too (and I suspect they will, or at least be made to step down).

one flew over the nest September 25, 2014 at 10:08 am

my apologies I watched it again he did not ask for the registration but everything else still is the same. I love the last shot came with the guys hands way up in the air clearly with NOTHING in them and trying to get down even after he was shot. then boom another shot fired.

30 Means To Operate September 25, 2014 at 1:41 pm

You are another nutcase. NEXT!

euwe max September 24, 2014 at 7:55 pm

We never get to see the good stuff.

Jamie Crater September 24, 2014 at 9:45 pm

You are out of your mind and you jump to the conclusions as fast as any sociopath.
Saying that I just watched the film and this Trooper has a big problem.

Of course September 24, 2014 at 10:45 pm

“Saying that I just watched the film and this Trooper has a big problem.”

Well then, that makes your whole statement irrelevant and you an idiot.

Jamie Crater September 25, 2014 at 12:10 pm

All of you judged too quickly regardless. I hope the next time you need a pig he is at lunch and can not be contacted.
By prayers he has a problem bigger than the shooting since he did not kill the fellow is what I was referring to.

Of course September 25, 2014 at 1:31 pm

“By prayers he has a problem bigger than the shooting since he did not kill the fellow is what I was referring to.”

…and that statement gives us all perfect insight to your frame of thinking. I hope to God you are not a cop.

John E. Law September 25, 2014 at 7:45 am

The video has been released you fucking moron

Cops know everything! September 25, 2014 at 8:48 am

I know it’s hard for cops to understand the concept of time, but his comment was posted before it was released genius.

G.O.B. September 24, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Ah, The Honorable Todd “Pebble in My Shoe” Rutherford. By the way, how bout a status update on our boy Ted Vick?

9" September 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Y E S !

I See U 2 September 25, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Yes. He should star in a remake of the movie “Liar, Liar.”

Toyota Kawaski September 24, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Is the 5th circuit Solicitor the son of Don Johnson?

CorruptionInColumbia September 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Legally speaking perhaps, but I believe he was the result of Tubbs sneaking in and visiting Don’s wife while Don was on stakeout one night.

Crooks Like Bobby Harrell September 24, 2014 at 4:28 pm

S.C. Rep. Todd Rutherford lives less than two miles from the State House, yet if he attends two days of House organizational sessions this week in Columbia, he is eligible to receive $262 in expense payments meant to cover hotel and food costs.

The Richland County Democrat on Monday told The Nerve that while he doesn’t stay in hotels while the Legislature is in session, he nonetheless accepts the $131-per-day “subsistence” payments

Source: “The Nerve”

mr pringles September 25, 2014 at 3:15 am

run for office. or dog catcher.

Crooks Like Bobby Harrell September 24, 2014 at 4:35 pm

I hired attorney Todd Rutherford to represent me in a petty larceny case of which I was accused of taking 60.00 from an acquaintance in which I did not do. My first court appearance was scheduled for around August 14, 2007 of which I showed up and requested a jury trial. It was not long after that that I hired Mr. Rutherford. He informed me that he would charge me 1200 to represent me in this case which I agreed. I paid him a down payment of 600 dollars. I paid him 300 more later. My jury trial was originally set for Sept 14 was it extended until October 5.

On this date I showed up for court and Mr. Rutherford was not there to represent me. I was called back to speak with the Judge who asked me where my lawyer was. I told him I was not sure. I thought he was going to be there since I had spoken with Mr. Rutherford’s office right before they closed, around 5 pm, the day before and no one informed me that Mr. Rutherford was not going to be in court the next morning. The judge told me that he was just notified 30 minutes before trial was to start that Mr. Rutherford would not be able to show up and he did not like his time being wasted so he was prepared to go to trial without him. I was scared so they offered me a plea deal just to pay the girl 60 dollars and be done with it and I accepted with the fear I might go to jail if I didn’t.

This is all the result of Mr. Rutherford not showing up in court. I called Mr. Rutherford several times requesting only half of my money back and he kept beating around the bush saying he wanted to continue with the trial. I told him no I just wanted it over and I could not miss anymore time from work. He kept beating around the bush not wanting to give me half of my money back.

shifty henry September 24, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Well, how much of the fee was returned to you?

Criooks Like Bobby Harrell September 24, 2014 at 4:59 pm

I found the writing on a website. The link is at the bottom of the post

shifty henry September 24, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I read the comment on that link and Rutherford’s reply/explanation, together with the rest of the comments — I don’t really know what to think about it. That seems to be an interesting site, though.

CorruptionInColumbia September 25, 2014 at 2:00 am

Sounds like something Joe McCullough (sp?) would do. I cannot blame you for being mad about this. You should be entitled to a FULL refund for the lack of representation you received, placing your reputation in jeopardy as it did.

Crooks Like Bobby Harrell September 24, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Rep. Todd Rutherford (D-Richland) told reporters that McBride has agreed to step down on January 8 and possibly take another position at the county.

A short while after those reports, McBride emailed the media saying that was not the case.

semi September 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm

On the video at about :28 is that the queen, Jean Toal talking to McBride?

Crony 101 September 24, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Why yes, yes it is. A delicate whisper in the ear none the less.

Crooks Like Bobby Harrell September 24, 2014 at 4:52 pm

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A South Carolina lawmaker is proposing a speed limit increase on the state’s interstates and freeways.

Rep. Todd Rutherford of Richland County has sponsored House Bill 4185, which would increase the maximum speed limit to 80 mph. The current maximum speed limit is 70 mph.
Increased speeds would cause a major jump in auto insurance rates.

Crooks Like Bobby Harrell September 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm

“Vick’s attorney, state Rep. Todd Rutherford, argued last week to drop the charge because police did not capture the reading of Miranda Rights on videotape as required by state law.”

“Marcus Gore, an attorney for the S.C. Department of Public Safety, said the reading was off camera because Vick wrestled the arresting office away from the police cruiser and out of view of the dash camera…”

“Todd Rutherford said he wasn’t drunk, he just had a pebble in his shoe.”

Crooks Like Bobby Harrell September 24, 2014 at 5:13 pm

Rep. Todd Rutherford, a Democratic co sponsored a bill that would allow police to slap $150 tickets ( on top of local government fees and other cost ) on motorists caught driving less than 10 mph over the limit.

John September 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Cops can get charged for shooting black men? What kind of bullshit is this?

Rocky September 25, 2014 at 2:31 pm

I know, right? In South Carolina. I thought it was legal and that Allen Wilson would have your back. Now it’s becoming a progressive stink hole.

John September 24, 2014 at 5:32 pm

ABHAN? Should be charged with attempted murder. He shot the guy!

Tazmaniac September 24, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Let’s see the video and try to figure out why Dan Johnson would do a 180. This reeks of pressure to avoid Columbia burning and getting looted, but at who’s cost? Could it be as high as the Governors Office doing the Ferguson+Columbia=Political Suicide vs South Carolina – one cop=Everything’s OK equation?

Guest September 24, 2014 at 5:57 pm

WLTX is reporting he was arrested this afternoon.

Judge Judy September 24, 2014 at 8:31 pm

I will never bo convicted the trooper decided to “just shoot” for no reason. He thought the dude was going for a gun. Was he mistaken,? Yes. Quick on the trigger? Yes. Did he shoot him for kicks? No.

mr pringles September 25, 2014 at 3:26 am

judge judy is a bitch.

Levon McCutcheon October 18, 2015 at 11:45 pm

Was he incompetent and a danger to society? YES.

alfredo September 24, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Let’s do the right thing and abolish mandatory seat belt laws!

Scooter September 24, 2014 at 8:55 pm

I agree with you. If people want to ride a cycle without a helmet or drive without seat belts, that should be their choice. Damn, I am sick and tired of being told what to do by these know it alls. They want to tell you where to smoke ( I don’t smoke). Next, they will limit you to one burger a week.

Who am I? September 24, 2014 at 10:50 pm

I think the thing I hate the most, is when government tells you how you can spend campaign donations. I’m tired of them telling me I can’t fly my plane to fun destinations using them.

mr pringles September 25, 2014 at 3:23 am

asbestos is really good for stuffing your pillow. get some. and paint you little daughter’s room with some lead based paint too, while you are at it. 1d10t.

CorruptionInColumbia September 25, 2014 at 2:20 am

But, but it has taken them so long to brainwash so many cops into believing that they are saving a life each time they write one of these tickets.

mr pringles September 25, 2014 at 3:21 am

another ignorant citizen here. it’s about he money bro. you have no clue, do you?

CorruptionInColumbia September 25, 2014 at 3:49 am

So, what is your point? On one post (above) you seem to be siding with government regulation. I DO agree with regulating harmful materials in consumer goods, although this country seems to tolerate goods from China that contain harmful substances way too often.

Next, you are calling me clueless when you state that the seatbelt laws are all about the money (which does happen to be true), when I note the sanctimonious “we’re saving lives” attitude about tickets written for this “offense”.

DontTaseMeBro September 24, 2014 at 10:50 pm

The video is out, and it doesn’t look good for Groubert. Rutherford should have no problem making Jones rich.

Rutherford Is an Idiot September 25, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Rutherford can’t represent Jones in a lawsuit against the state of South Carolina. Its a conflict of interest. I dare him to try.

Prosecutor is Out of Line, Too September 25, 2014 at 12:06 am

I watched the dash cam video 3 times. And I noted the driver who was shot moved at a fast speed when the Trooper asked for his drivers license. He spun around as fast as he could and leaned into his SUV at a very fast pace, too. That set the Trooper off. And it is understandable that it would. In this day and time, you DO NOT do things like that. It will set any law enforcement officer off. People have pulled weapons out of their vehicles in situations like this and shot at cops. The driver of the SUV was very foolish to do what he did. But that does not excuse getting shot. But then, you have to put yourself in a situation like that were a split second can mean the difference between life or death.
Good cop …. split second decision. But he did over react a little. The prosecutor calling the trooper a threat to society was totally out of line and uncalled for. And it is likely an ethical violation. I have knows prosecutors to act like this whereas they want to score political points.

Err What? September 25, 2014 at 1:35 am

You finished?? He shot him because he was scary as shit and just so happened to have a gun. If he’s that scary, he should’ve never become an officer. This was about as low-threat as you can get. The guy moved ONLY after he was told to do so. Also, he’s a shitty cop, you can tell because no one is going to bat for him. As far as Dan Johnson goes, he may have crossed the ethics line, but this is South Carolina and you know how we feel about those pesky ethic “things”.

mr pringles September 25, 2014 at 3:19 am

boy scouts with guns. to be a cop in this country you need the qualifications of a garbage man in other developed countries.

Moves Like Jagger September 25, 2014 at 6:59 am

Mr……With those qualifications, as you state, then you will NEVER qualify to be a cop. You’re a low life piece of shit who has been arrested by a cop that hurt your feelings. Go smoke your dope, plan your crime you will commit today, and I hope you encounter a CWP carrier.

Pringles Is A Convict September 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm

How many years did you spend in prison? When did you get out?

Fire The Prosecutor September 25, 2014 at 12:44 am

The Solicitors Office Is Out of Line and VIOLATED The Rules of Professional Conduct For Lawyers; Called The Trooper a Threat to Society. There was a prosecutor in another SC Circuit who was fired due to, in part, remarks such as those this prosecutor made.


The prosecutor in a criminal case shall (MANDATED):

(f) except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor’s action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, REFRAIN from making extrajudicial COMMENTS that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6 or this Rule.

mr pringles September 25, 2014 at 3:17 am


Levon McCutcheon October 18, 2015 at 11:46 pm

He is a threat to society. The solicitor has a responsibility to warn the public.

Native Ink September 25, 2014 at 9:34 am

The dash cam video is very clear. The “suspect” did nothing but lean into his car to get his registration, just as the officer had asked him to. What’s amazing is that this shooting was initially judged to be justified. I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to the police, but this case and the case in the Ohio Wal-mart really show how local prosecutors bend over backwards to protect the police department, who are their essentially their partners.

Oh Boy September 25, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Yeah – he leaned in very quickly and turned around even faster.

Bobby Wain September 25, 2014 at 10:37 am

did you often approach seat belt violators with your gun drawn?

Tom September 25, 2014 at 11:11 am

You know, I blame South Carolina’s failing commitment to gun rights for this situation? If this man had a gun, like any sane person would, we would not be in this mess. We would not have to be defending a trooper for shooting an unarmed black man. As it is, it looks bad, but throw another gun in the mix and suddenly this is goes from frontpage to an unavoidable accident in which there was a minor injury.

Guest September 25, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Trooper reacted exactly the way he was trained to. he was trained to do….and he’s arrested and prosecuted for that? What an absolute bunch of dickheads.

______________ September 25, 2014 at 1:13 pm

I agree. Training kicked in.

Really? September 25, 2014 at 1:33 pm

If that was what he was trained to do, then I suggest that the training is a problem.

Guido Sarducci September 25, 2014 at 12:34 pm

The trooper REACTED exactly as he was trained to. Move and shoot…move and shoot..and they prosecute him for this? Better get a handle on it, LeRoy or ya aint gonna have any troopers left. No wonder you got run outta Florida. Jut sayin….

Levon McCutcheon October 18, 2015 at 11:46 pm

We don’t need any troopers like this. I want to get rid of all of them.

CorruptionInColumbia September 26, 2014 at 5:56 pm

I wonder how long before something like this plays out in Kershaw County. As I understand it, at least one of the Sheriff’s traffic unit is so afraid of his job that he feels it necessary to disarm police officers from other jurisdictions that he might happen to stop, even when they are in a marked vehicle and in uniform. Any cop that is that chickenshit is a powder keg waiting to explode into another incident like this or worse.


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