A Black woman wants a North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper to be investigated after he used excessive force during a traffic stop near Raleigh.
Charish Jones began live-streaming the incident to Facebook Live on her cellphone when she was pulled over on the evening of Thursday, October 31.
Their initial exchange, which prompted the 37-year-old to began filming, was not captured on video. Before she began taping, Trooper Zach Bumgardner allegedly said, “You ran that red light,” when she responded “it was yellow.” He said, “My light was green, are you stupid?'"
Jones told ABC 11, “And he said, ‘Do you comprehend what I’m saying?'”
The video begins with Bumgardner asking Jones to get out of her car.
On the recording, Jones could be heard saying she did not feel comfortable getting out of her vehicle with her 15-year-old also present in the car’s backseat.
“Why would I need to step out of the car?" asked Jones.
"Because I'm asking you to," Bumgardner replies.
"Why? I don't feel comfortable," Jones responded.
Jones refused to exit her car when Bumgardner persists, "You're going to step out, or you're going to jail,” citing the Supreme Court decision of Pennsylvania v. Mimms. The 1977 criminal law case says a police officer ordering a person out of a car following a traffic stop would not violate the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.
Jones claims Bumgardner tried to pull her to the back of her car away from her daughter. When she refused, attempting to return to her car, Jones was heard on camera screaming, “Help!”
“I went to get back in the vehicle,” described Jones on Monday, November 4 during an on-camera interview. “That's when he grabbed me by my neck and pulled me to the back of the vehicle, and that's when you hear me yelling for help.”
Jones was consequently apprehended for resisting arrest.
Pete Rubino, a retired police officer who helps train officers, told WRAL Bumgardner could have used alternative methods to de-escalate the situation.
"The officer doesn't articulate his necessity to have her step out," Rubino said. "There needs to be some further questioning on why the officer is asking her to step out of the vehicle. He should articulate for her safety and for his safety so he can talk to her."
First Sgt. Michael Baker, the Highway Patrol spokesperson, revealed Bumgarnder is aware of Jones’ complaint and is currently reviewing dash-cam footage. Bumgardner remains on patrol during the investigation.
According to Baker, Bumgardner's dashboard camera shows Jones running a red light. She was charged after she tried to get back into her car during the stop.
Bumgardner was also the first law enforcement officer on the scene when Kyron Hinton, a Black man, was beaten and attacked by a K-9 police dog in April 2018. The News Observer reported he died from cocaine toxicity and neck injuries from the dog attack. Pathologists classified his death as a homicide in May.
Photo: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images