Trooper who hit suspect calls crash an 'accident'

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GREENVILLE, S.C. — A South Carolina state trooper accused of deliberately running down a suspect with his cruiser said Wednesday the crash was "an unavoidable accident" and that he regretted bragging about it afterward.

"It's a collision that I'm sorry took place," Lance Cpl. Steven Garren said on the second day of his federal trial.

Lance Cpl. Garren is charged with using unreasonable force and depriving suspect Marvin Grant of his civil rights. Lance Cpl. Garren is white; Mr. Grant is black.

A conviction could bring Lance Cpl. Garren up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The trial hinges on a key video of the collision that shows Mr. Grant sprinting from the patrol car, then being hit and flipping over the hood. On the recording, Lance Cpl. Garren says to a deputy: "Yeah, I hit him. I was trying to hit him."

Lance Cpl. Garren said his statements embarrassed himself, his family and his department.

"The statement itself is not true. But I did say the statement," he said. "It's just a dumb, stupid statement."

The officer also said Mr. Grant ran in front of the cruiser "probably in the blink of an eye."

"It was an unavoidable accident," he said.

Earlier in the day, federal prosecutors wrapped up their case with a frame-by-frame analysis of the video.

A witness for the prosecution said Lance Cpl. Garren steered his patrol car twice into Mr. Grant's path.

Crash reconstruction expert Geoffrey Germane said when Mr. Grant suddenly cut to the right in front of the cruiser, Lance Cpl. Garren steered the car toward the suspect a second time and hit him.

Lance Cpl. Garren's attorneys argued there were assumptions and flaws in Mr. Germane's report and have said the trooper tried to avoid hitting Mr. Grant.

The defense is expected to focus on whether the trooper had enough time to react to Mr. Grant's sudden turn.

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Tujeez
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Tujeez 10/02/08 - 03:58 am
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Wow, That's using your head.

Wow, That's using your head. Flee from justice and Get Rich. Bet that rich fella Grant wont be running any time soon. Uncle Sam will do anything to help play the race card. This is just the same type of pathetic news story that made me stop watching the evening news. S.C., Give That Trooper A Medal. How much taxpayer money do you think these Buffoons are going to spend on this travesty of Justice... Idiots !

mutt
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mutt 10/02/08 - 05:30 am
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I wonder if everyone would be

I wonder if everyone would be so quick to point out the race thing if the trooper were black and the runner was white. It is racial stereotyping to assume that there is a racial component to the officers actions, just because he is white, and the suspect is not. While I find the racial accusations appalling, that doesn't take away from the fact that the officers actions were over the top, brutal, and deserving prosecution. However, if these thug idiots would just accept that they've been caught, and not always try to run, this stuff wouldn't happen. If you don't run, you won't be run down!

426Hemi
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426Hemi 10/02/08 - 07:33 am
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Yeah, everyone pointed that

Yeah, everyone pointed that out! Not a race thing. Just because someone of lesser intelligence is struck by a cruiser because HE RAN IN FRONT of the car-tough xxit! The race card is a black Joker.

UrNotReady4TheTruth
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UrNotReady4TheTruth 10/02/08 - 07:52 am
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No it's not the race card

No it's not the race card because these Goons hiding behind their badges think they are above the LAW. Look at the officer that was fired in Aiken... I think these Goons think that every black man is ignorant especially if they have baggy clothes and dreads; I'll take it a step further and say they think that anyone who breaks the law are STUPID. What are the qualifications to be an officer... a PHD? I think not! Most of them are the same ones who were NOBODY's in school now they have a legal shield to hide behind and they do it

pantherluvcik
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pantherluvcik 10/02/08 - 08:16 am
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While it is unfortunate that

While it is unfortunate that they mention race here at all, they never said he did it beacause the victim was black. They haven't accused him of a hate crime or being racially motivated. So to answer your question yes if the tables were reversed and the victim were white he would still be on trial. But a black officer in the south wouldn't hit a white man because he knows this is good ole boy country, and white people would turn on him in a heartbeat, throw him to the wolves. So that wouldn't happen, most officers who are over aggresive with white prisoners or suspects are white. Black officers tend to stay behind the line or just observe when white officers cross the line, even if the suspect or victim is black.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 10/02/08 - 08:19 am
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"I'll take it a step further

"I'll take it a step further and say they think that anyone who breaks the law are STUPID." comments by UrNotReady4TheTruth. Well Yeah, anyone who breaks the law is STUPID!

pantherluvcik
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pantherluvcik 10/02/08 - 08:23 am
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426hemi maybe you should pay

426hemi maybe you should pay closer attention when reading, it's called reading comprehension, if they don't teach proper names in red-neck territory. They never said it was racially motivated only that the victim was black. Idiots like you made it racial. Maybe you should go run in front of a police car and check your theory..

KingJames
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KingJames 10/02/08 - 10:27 am
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Officers of the law are held

Officers of the law are held to a higher standard, if for no other reason than they ought to know the law better than the average citizen. Even if Garren didn't mean to hit Grant as he claims, bragging about it was stupid. Isn't that how a lot of criminals are caught anyway? Don't some of them brag about their actions, and aren't their own words then used against them in court? Garren knows his statements were stupid. Because he is a trooper, he needs to held accountable. If found guilty, he should be sentenced with regard to the high standard of professionalism that he did not display, and not just receive a slap on the wrist. As for Grant, as I said yesterday, he was stupid enough to not only run into the cruiser, but also to not seek medical treatment. It may be hard to prove that any injuries he had came from the cruiser. Both men used poor judgement, and behaved stupidly. As I said yesterday, stupidity has no color, so please get off the race thing.

TakeAstand
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TakeAstand 10/02/08 - 10:59 am
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Well if Grant does get

Well if Grant does get anything, at least this deadbeat [filtered word] will be required to actually take care of the children he produced!!!! What a loser!! One story says he flipped over the hood, one says he just knocked him down and the guy bounced back up and continued to run. The penalties for running from police should be more stiff, so many do it. Personally I dont care if they bump them with a car to stop or slow them down or shoot them in the knee caps. So if he purposly hit him I could care less as long as he wasn't trying to run him down in anger to kill him. The I ran because I was scared but innocent crap doesn't fly here. You ran because you are a criminal and was trying to avoid being caught and prosecuted.. period!!!

whitescorpion
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whitescorpion 10/02/08 - 11:52 am
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I don't know... when I see

I don't know... when I see some loser with baggy pants and dreads I can't help but come to the conclussion that he is "ignorant." If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, its a duck.

KingJames
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KingJames 10/02/08 - 01:37 pm
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Seven, that's stereotypical.

Seven, that's stereotypical. I don't sag my clothes, but have on ocassion worn long shirts and baggy pants (as baggy as someone that is 6'4" with a 36" inseam could possibly get). You have to look at a person's behavior and not just their appearance. I wear corn rolls, and know men and women with corn rolls and dreds. We are all professional people with a certain style about us that is never confused with thug or hip hop mentalities. When we speak, it is always with authority and about business. None of us go to work or around town looking thuggish. As a matter of fact, my corn rolls are always neat. They add flavor, whether I'm wearing jeans and sneakers or a 3-piece suit. I associate with diverse, positive, and progressive people. We all have our own style and respect everyone else's. If you don't associate with some of those people that you call losers, then you might actually be the ignorant one. I'm only jumping on your case because I don't think you can judge a person by their appearance. Now if the people you call losers actually behave in a destructive manner, then you may have grounds for calling them ignorant.

ThatOne
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ThatOne 10/03/08 - 11:21 pm
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It amazes me how people who

It amazes me how people who are supposed to be of "higher intelligence" say some the most deplorable and detestable things... You don't reward bad behavior, and our police officers are held to a higher standard...The level of force used in this particular situation was over the top and unecessary we all should agree on that.

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