A white South Carolina public-safety officer who was indicted on a misdemeanor charge after a 2014 fatal shooting of a black man in his driveway has been arrested and charged with a felony, according to the Washington Post.
The arrest and additional charge against North Augusta Officer Justin Gregory Craven, 25, happened Tuesday, the same day that North Charleston, S.C., Police Officer Michael Slager was charged with murder after video of a fatal encounter between Slager and Walter Scott, a 50-year-old black man, went viral. The footage appears to show Scott running away from the officer as he is shot in the back.
According to the Post, Craven has been charged with “discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle in the February 2014 death of Ernest Satterwhite. If convicted, Craven could go to prison for up to 10 years and face a fine of $1,000.”
According to the Post, Craven attempted to stop the 68-year-old Satterwhite for a suspected DUI. Satterwhite allegedly continued driving for some miles, refusing to stop until he pulled into the driveway of his home. Investigators told the Post that Craven then opened fire through the driver-side door of Satterwhite’s car. Satterwhite was unarmed during the incident, but Craven claimed that after Satterwhite stopped his car, he went for his gun.
The Post notes that this encounter was also captured on video and that the police have seen the footage, but it has not been released.
Satterwhite’s family filed a lawsuit “vehemently” denying that he engaged in a struggle for the officer’s weapon.
A grand jury indicted Craven several months ago on a misdemeanor charge of “misconduct in office” instead of the manslaughter charge that prosecutors initially sought, and the Post notes that this charge against Craven is still pending.
Carter Elliott, the Satterwhite family’s attorney, told the Post in an email that although they wanted the officer charged with something more substantial, “like involuntary manslaughter … the current charge is better than misconduct in office—which is what he was previously charged with,” he wrote. Elliott added that the family’s lawsuit over the fatal shooting was recently settled for more than $1 million.
Craven, who hadn’t worked as a law-enforcement officer since the shooting, “was booked into the Edgefield County Detention Center on Tuesday, according to the state,” the Post reports.
Read more at the Washington Post.