Salisbury Police Chief Rory Collins says an internal investigation shows officers did nothing wrong during traffic stops of two pastors who last week alleged improper conduct in their encounters with police.
Collins released video footage of the incidents shot from inside police cruisers Monday at the request of the Post. The videos show Cornerstone Church Pastor Bill Godair, who was stopped in February 2013, and the Rev. Bradley Taylor, of Outreach Christian Ministries, who was stopped by an officer in July.
Godair spoke during an NAACP press conference held at his church a week ago about what he called “aggressive” behavior displayed by the officer during a stop. Godair was stopped for speeding and issued a ticket.
In the video Godair tells the officer he was on his way to pick up dry cleaning before 4 p.m. At the press conference, Godair said he was rushing to the hospital to visit a member of his church after preaching at a funeral.
On the video, the officer asked Godair what he threw out of his vehicle. Godair tells the officer he tossed a toothpick out because he didn’t want to talk to the officer with a toothpick in his mouth.
The officer tells the pastor he could ticket him for littering, but the officer does not. He does, however, issue Godair a ticket for traveling 58 mph in a 45 mph zone.
Taylor said following the press conference the officer who dealt with him the night of his stop was aggressive in his tone.
On Monday, Taylor said he felt the police response was excessive for the type of vehicle stop. He was stopped for an expired registration.
He said the video doesn’t show additional officers who responded, which he felt was more than necessary for an expired tag.
“Upon learning of these allegations of improper conduct by our officers, our agency immediately began an investigation into those specific incidents described,” Collins said.
Salisbury Police Department policy requires the recording of vehicle stops through the use of installed camera systems within marked patrol cars and a review of the video was conducted regarding both complaints, he said.
Source: Salisbury Post | Shavonne Potts