Connect with us


Video Captures Another African American Shot By Police




It sounded like a moment from a Chris Rock comedy: A bewildered black motorist writhes on the ground in pain, asking, “What did I do, sir?” of the white police officer who has just shot him at a gas station in broad daylight.

“I just got my license – you said, ‘Get your license’!” exclaims the wounded Levar Jones, who only seconds before had his arms raised in the air. “Why did you shoot me?” The South Carolina Highway Patrol officer matter of factly replies, “For a seatbelt violation.”

The incident, of course, was no comedy or part of a Hollywood movie, but was recorded in the city of Columbia by the officer’s dashboard camera. It took place September 4, although the video only surfaced yesterday. It shows the officer firing four shots at the driver who had been standing beside his pickup truck, when he turned to his vehicle to retrieve his license. Sean Groubert, the highway patrol officer, has since been fired and faces charges of aggravated assault.

Writing in Capital & Main yesterday, historian Kenneth C. Burt compared the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, to the fatal police shooting in 1948 of Augustin Salcido in Los Angeles. Burt’s essay noted how Salcido’s death sparked a Latino political revolution in L.A. that reverberates to this day. What the fallout will be in South Carolina and across the country remains to be seen – mercifully, the motorist wasn’t killed and three weeks have elapsed since the shooting.

If the events following Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson are a guide, we might nevertheless see prolonged civil strife. Or perhaps South Carolina and the rest of America will cut to the chase and try to learn lessons about what happens when armed and deputized ranks of men and women are permitted to divide their fellow citizens into two classes: Those who are to be respected and accorded the benefit of a doubt, and those whose skin color marks them as potential threats to be shot on sight.

Continue Reading




Top Stories