COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP)—To the White police officer and the judge, the shooting two years ago of a Black driver after a chase was a split-second case of bad judgment not deserving of prison time. To some African Americans in South Carolina, it is example of a judicial system that does not protect them from officers who go too far.
Former North Augusta police Officer Justin Craven will serve three years of probation but no time behind bars for the killing of 68-year-old Ernest Satterwhite in his driveway after he led police trying to stop him for drunken driving on a 13-minute chase.
Craven’s dashboard camera captured the chase and shooting. As soon as Satterwhite stopped, Craven ran up to his car and stuck his gun into Satterwhite’s window. There is a brief struggle, and a black arm is seen pushing at Craven’s arm. Craven then pulls the gun out of the window and fires several shots.
Other officers run over and can be seen yelling on the video, which had no audio. Twenty minutes after he is shot, paramedics put Satterwhite’s body on a backboard and one puts a stethoscope to his chest.