Body camera footage shows full story behind a man forced out of his car

Saturday, August 3, 2019
News 12 at 11

JOHNSTON, SC (WRDW/WAGT) – A video of an officer in Johnston pulling a man out of his car and to the ground has people talking on social media. It happened Saturday, August 2, after an officer pulled a 27-year-old man over for "improper display of a tag". News 12 sat down with the Johnston police chief to watch the video. He says it's not what it looks like.

There's always two sides to a story. On one hand, people say the officer was too forceful, but the video going around Facebook is only 41 seconds. The full body camera video and traffic stop was actually an hour and 19 minutes long.

It shows the driver telling the officer he does not have his license on him. He then gave the officer a false name and birthday several times. The driver continually begs the officer to let him go. Twenty-four minutes into the traffic stop the officer calls in back-up. Eventually the driver finally comes clean, saying he has a suspended license for a DUI charge. In the video you see the officers ask several times for him to get out of the car. He even says he does not want to use force because of the driver's hurt leg, but the driver continued to resist. Police Chief Lamaz Robinson says his officer handled the situation appropriately and with more leniency then other would have.

"The officer did what he was trained to do, operating with flexion techniques and trying to secure the information," Robinson said. "You know they pleaded with him, get out of the car and I think you even hear the officer at one time say, 'hey man if you get out now, I'll only charge you with such and such, and subsequently that's all the officer did charge him with.

The chief tells News 12 the driver could have been charged with several other charges, like improper display of a tag, resisting arrest, and ABC violations for the open liquor that was in the car. But instead, all the officer charged him with was driving with a suspended license.

Tune back in Sunday for the whole video, so you can see and hear for yourself what unfolded.

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