Levar Jones didn't receive proper medical care at Palmetto Health Richland, lawyer says

Jones' defense attorney and State House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford.
Jones' defense attorney and State House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford.

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The attorney for Levar Jones, the man who was shot by a state trooper last month, said he did not receive proper medical care when he was taken to the hospital.

In an interview with WIS, defense attorney and State House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford said Jones "was treated like a black man who had been shot by the police."

Rutherford said Jones was handcuffed until midnight even after the State Law Enforcement Division cleared him of any felony crime.

"SLED cleared him," Rutherford said.  "He committed no crime except for having a seatbelt off in a parking lot. That's all he had done to be handcuffed for several hours, until finally a trooper realized he was still handcuffed."

Jones suffered a gunshot wound to the hip but was told "to take Tylenol and go home," Rutherford said.

"Palmetto Health does not have a record of being contacted by this patient or his attorney to express any concerns about care provided in the Palmetto Health Richland Emergency Department," Palmetto Health spokeswoman Tammie Epps said in a statement. "Palmetto Health Richland is the region's only Level One Trauma Center, and the Richland trauma team takes pride in providing care for the most critically injured patients in the Midlands region. All Level One Trauma Centers, including Palmetto Health Richland, follow detailed protocols for patient care which include having trauma physicians available 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

On Sept. 4, Jones was heading to a Circle K store on Broad River Rd. when then-Trooper Sean Groubert pulled him over for not wearing his seatbelt.

Groubert then asked Jones for his license, according to dashcam video released.

When Jones went to get it from his car, Groubert fired several shots at Jones.

In a full version of the dashcam video from the shooting, Groubert explains to his supervisor the events leading up to the shooting.

"I pulled him over for a seat-belt violation," Groubert said. "Before I could even get out of my car, he jumped out, stared at me, and as I jumped out of my car and identified myself as I approached him, he jumped head-first back into his car. I started retracting back towards the rear of his vehicle telling him, 'Look, get out of the car. Let me see your hands.' He jumped out of the car. I saw something black in his hands. I ran to the other side of the car yelling at him, and he kept coming towards me. Apparently, it was his wallet."

Last week, Groubert, who was fired earlier from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, was charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

His next court date is Oct. 24.

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