Another South Carolina cop indicted for killing unarmed elderly black man

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NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — The state that was notoriously pro-segregation during the Jim Crow era has indicted another White officer who who fatally shot an unarmed Black man last year.

Justin Gregory Craven, 25, was arrested on a felony weapons charge Tuesday — on the same day that North Charleston police officer Michael Slager was charged with murder over the shooting of Walter Scott, The Huffington Post reports.

Craven was taken in on suspicion of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle, according to the state’s Law Enforcement Division.

The similarities between the two jailed officers are striking.

  • Like Slagen, Craven is accused of unjustifiably killing 68-year-old Ernest Satterwhite in his driveway on Feb. 9, 2014, during a routine traffic stop.
  • Craven also killed his victim in the fatal fusillade of bullets, this time shooting repeatedly through the driver-side door of Satterwhite’s car after the victim had fully stopped in his driveway, according to the Edgefield Daily at the time.
  • Craven was arrested in Edgefield County the same day Slager was charged with murder after Sunday’s shooting in North Charleston, about 150 miles away.
  • Both officers’ fatal encounters with unarmed black men were caught on camera, and both responding officers alleged in their reports that the victims grabbed for their weapons, which now appear to be false in both cases.

Sattlewhite’s family successfully sued and wound up with a $1 million settlement and denied the elderly man ever reached for the officer’s gun, according to The Washington Post.

Craven admitted to firing his pistol into the car. He was initially indicted by a grand jury for a charge of “misconduct in office,” which is a misdemeanor, instead of a manslaughter charge sought by prosecutors. That case is reportedly still pending, and Craven hasn’t worked in law enforcement since.

With the new charge, Craven could spend up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $1,000. Craven plans to plead not guilty, the Post stated.

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