Shocking body camera footage of a traffic stop that resulted in a six-figure settlement against the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has been released.
Minneapolis Park Police Officer Calvin Pham’s body camera shows the officer pulling his gun and shouting at Jenice Hodge one minute after stopping her for alleged seat belt and cell phone violations in the July 2019 incident, according to KSTP.
"In the body camera footage, which led to a six-figure settlement late last year, it is not clear why Pham pulled his gun,” the news station reports. “The officer later wrote in his incident report that he believed 'Jenice may have a gun' after he noticed a permit to carry card in her wallet. But Pham never wrote in his report that he saw a gun.”
Hodge said she does have a valid permit, but did not have a firearm on her. The incident eventually led to a settlement in which Hodge received $100,000 from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board last October.
“I didn’t even have my driver’s license out of the sleeve and I had a gun pointed at my head,” she said. “You didn’t see a firearm, you didn’t ask if I had a firearm, you just reacted to something that you seen in my wallet."
Hodge noted that she was scared, thinking back to the shooting of fellow Minnesotan Philando Castile, who had a legal firearm on him when he was killed by then-St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez in 2016.
Philando's mother, Valerie Castile, described the video as "absolutely terrifying.” “I know at that very moment, she thought about my son,” she told the news station. “As a trained law enforcement officer, you’re supposed to be trained in how to de-escalate the situation. And yet, we see these situations happen over and over and over again.”
KSTP reports Pham’s personnel file makes no mention of the traffic stop or any discipline related to the July 2019 incident. Neither the Park Police chief nor the Park Board superintendent would answer questions about the traffic stop, simply saying in a statement: “the settlement speaks for itself.”