Hephzibah police caught on body cam arresting man for singing profanities loudly
HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Caught on police body cam was an arrest that started with a guy walking down the street singing along to his headphone music. We’re investigating what led up to it and why some are calling for an investigation.
The man in the body cam video is Christopher Jefferson. He’s now facing charges including profanity and disorderly conduct.
We have it all on body cam. It starts with Jefferson walking down the street singing along to “First Day Out Tha Feds” by Gucci Mane. If you’ve heard it, you know it has some cuss words. That led a Hephzibah police officer to have him in handcuffs about a minute later.
Officer Tucker with Hephzibah Public Safety approaches Jefferson. The guy wearing this body camera is Public Safety Chief Matt Mercer. Tucker orders Jefferson to keep walking down the road. Jefferson does but turns back to ask for Tucker’s name.
“He’s got five second,” said Tucker.
“I’m just asking for your name, sir, to make the report. That’s all I’m asking,” said Jefferson.
“Turn around, turn around, turn around,” said Tucker.
“I can’t ask you for your name? I can’t ask you for your name?” said Jefferson.
“I’m about to ask you for your name,” said Tucker.
From the time Tucker approaches to the time Jefferson is in handcuffs, it’s one minute and nine seconds.
“Alright, have a seat,” said Tucker.
“And you’re going to grab me by my throat, really?” said Jefferson.
Jefferson asks Officer Chauvos to grab his phone so he can call his wife to bring his ID. As he’s on the phone with his wife explaining the situation, they work on grabbing his information. Officer Tucker then escorts Jefferson toward their cars, where Jefferson’s wife is waiting.
“He’s a inaudible because he’s walking down the road with headphones in his ears,” said Jefferson’s wife.
“He’s walking down the road with headphones in his ears cursing loudly,” said Tucker.
“Listening to music because he’s repeating song lyrics,” said Jefferson’s wife.
“OK,” said Tucker.
“So he’s being detained for what?” said Jefferson’s wife.
And so they put him in the car and try to figure that out themselves.
“So there’s a chance we get him on disorderly conduct, I don’t know.” said Tucker.
“Yeah, but that’s pretty thin. I mean, we’re talking freedom of speech,” said Mercer.
“What do you mean? Oh, oh,” said Tucker.
“So, um, the fact that he wouldn’t move on would be a disorderly, so,” said Mercer.
“Yeah, and the problem is we were trying to do an investigation,” said Tucker.
“And he’s interfering with the investigation,” said Mercer.
So they agree to cite him for disorderly conduct, for interference and profanity.
We reached out to Chief Mercer, who was wearing the body cam and he says he has no issue with how the situation was handled, but “would have loved for the guy to not have been playing his music so loud.” He says none of his officers are under investigation and no formal complaint has been filed to Chief Mercer’s knowledge.
Copyright 2021 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.