Yep, We Need Dashcams

Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

This video will blow your mind.

On the plus side, the officer in question was fired from the South Carolina Highway Patrol and has now been charged with aggravated assault. But here’s the story (with video). White Highway Patrol officer stops a black man for a seat belt violation outside Columbia, SC. The state trooper Sean Groubert, 31, asks the driver for his license. The driver, Levar Jones, reaches into the car to retrieve his license – at which point Groubert screams “get out of the car” and proceeds to unload four or five rounds from his pistol into Jones at close to point blank range.

Dashcam video after the jump …

As you can see, the shooting is followed by a macabre and surreal dialog between Groubert and Jones in which Jones asks Groubert why he shot him. Jones seems genuinely dumbfounded, in addition to (one presumes) a mixture of fear, shock and anger. Groubert comes off not so much as consciously malevolent as bumbling and almost ridiculous – a frightening example of someone who should not be a cop or have a firearm. (Groubert’s casefile has a series of citizen complaints against him.)

Would Groubert have lost his badge and be facing charges had there not been a dashcam video revealing the reality of what happened? Let’s put that down as a rhetorical question.

Jones survived the attack and is now out of the hospital and recuperating.

Latest Editors' Blog
  • |
    July 24, 2024 11:12 p.m.

    Today is the end of the first week of this year’s annual TPM Journalism Fund drive. We’re doing everything we…

  • |
    July 24, 2024 6:24 p.m.

    According to some of the country’s most prominent news publications, the Democratic establishment moved quickly beginning Sunday afternoon to lock…

  • |
    July 24, 2024 10:09 a.m.

    As we’ve noted a few times, we’re now in the midst of a race for each campaign to define Kamala…

  • |
    July 23, 2024 6:34 p.m.

    I want to send a huge thank you to the 1601 TPM Readers who have given so far to this…

Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: