Cops in hot water after videos catch them shooting, beating people
One officer shot an innocent motorist during traffic stop; another beat a homeless woman.
A South Carolina highway trooper was charged Wednesday over accusations of assault and battery in connection to the unprovoked shooting of a motorist pulled over for a seatbelt violation—an incident that was videotaped by the officer’s dashcam.
And on the same day South Carolina patrolman Sean Groubert, 31, was charged with wrongful shooting, California officials agreed to pay a woman $1.5 million after a motorist captured video with a mobile phone of a California highway patrolman repeatedly punching a woman on the side of a Los Angeles freeway.
That officer, Daniel Andrew, agreed to resign and could still be charged in connection to the July pummeling of a homeless woman. The video of Andrew repeatedly punching Marlene Pinnock in the face invoked images of the Rodney King beating while garnering millions of hits on YouTube and elsewhere. An off-duty policeman helped subdue the officer.
“When this incident occurred, I promised that I would look into it and vowed a swift resolution,” California Highway Patrol Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a statement. “Today, we have worked constructively to reach a settlement agreement that is satisfactory to all parties involved.”
Pinnock was taped walking barefoot alongside the 10 Freeway by the La Brea exit. The CHP said its officer followed the woman to prevent her from walking into traffic.
The CHP has provided Los Angeles prosecutors with its investigation. No charges have been filed yet.
Back in South Carolina…
In the South Carolina case, the officer was fired from duty Friday, and bond was set at $75,000. At a Wednesday bond hearing, the authorities played the video of Groubert’s stop September 4 of motorist Levar Jones, 35.
The tape shows the trooper asking the motorist for his driver’s license. The driver, who is at the gas station and had just exited his vehicle, reaches inside the car for his license. The officer yells for him to “get out of the car. Get out of the car.” He fires a handful of rounds at the unarmed Jones, who is holding his hands above his head.
The victim is struck once in the hip. “I can’t feel my leg,” the victim is heard saying.
After the shooting, the officer yells: “Put your hands behind your back. Put your hands behind your back.”
“What did I do, sir?” the victim asks. “Why did you shoot me?”
“Well, you dove head first back into your car.”
The victim was hospitalized and is now recuperating. The officer faces 20 years if convicted.
The officer’s case file shows that Groubert was handed the Medal of Valor Award last year following a shooting he was involved in outside a bank. The officer’s case file, obtained by local media, shows the trooper has been the subject of at least five citizen complaints.
The man’s attorney, Barney Geise, said his client is not guilty.
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