Virginia Police Chief Claims Viral Video of Arrest Missing Key Details
A video posted to Twitter Tuesday night shows a Virginia cop pulling a man out of his car after the man had refused to do so.
The video went viral with many questioning why the cop would react so aggressively over a missing brake light.
The video, which only lasts 1:23 minutes, shows the Chesterfield County police officer telling Elkanah A. Odembo that he is not cooperating because he had tried to step out of the car.
But the video also shows the 19-year-old refusing to step out of the car as the officer repeatedly orders him to do so.
But now Chesterfield County Police Chief Jeffrey Katz is claiming the viral video does not tell the whole story.
He also said bodycam footage from the officers will show the entire story, but he has not released that footage yet. The footage should show Chesterfield County cops tasering Elkanah A. Odembo after struggling with him inside his home.
Odembo, who played defensive end for Manchester High School and committed to play linebacker for Kent State, was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer, three counts of obstruction of justice with force and defective equipment.
The incident took place Tuesday afternoon when a Chesterfield County police officer attempted to pull over Odembo over the missing brake light on the same block where he lives.
It is not clear at this time how far away from his home was Odembo when the cop tried to pull him over, but he apparently pulled into his driveway instead of coming to a complete stop the second the cop switched on his emergency lights.
The chief said that Odembo stepped out of the car after pulling into his home, trying to push past an officer.
Katz released the following statement, according to NBC 12:
The officer attempted to stop a vehicle in the area Hollow Wood Court. The vehicle pulled into a driveway in the 3400 block of Hollow Wood Court. As the officer approached the vehicle, the driver had the car door open to exit the vehicle. The officer asked the driver for his identification. The officer told the driver he had been stopped because a tail light was out on the vehicle, and the officer had received information that the occupants of the vehicle had been gesturing and yelling things at a school bus.
The driver did not have his ID, and the officer began to take his information (name, date of birth, etc.). The driver said he didn’t see a problem and attempted to exit the vehicle, and the officer told him to stay in the vehicle. The driver continued to not cooperate with the officer, so the officer told the driver he was being detained and asked him to step out of the vehicle. The driver then refused to exit the vehicle. The officer repeatedly directed the driver to exit the vehicle and attempted to remove the driver from the vehicle; the driver resisted.
At one point, a passenger in the vehicle exited the car and the officer ordered her back into the vehicle. The driver then exited the vehicle as he was being pulled by the officer; he pushed past the officer and fled around and then into the residence. The officer pursued the driver. The officer caught up to the driver and the two engaged in a physical altercation as the driver resisted being taken into custody. Other officers arrived on scene to help take the driver into custody, and the driver continued to resist, at one point reentering the residence.
The driver was tased and taken into custody. He continued to passively resist as officers escorted him from the house. The officer who conducted the traffic stop received non-life threatening injuries during the altercation and was taken to an area hospital.
The driver, identified as Elkanah A. Odembo Jr., 19, was arrested and charged with assault on a law enforcement officer, three counts of obstruction of justice with force and defective equipment.
The video was posted on Twitter by Odembo's girlfriend, who stated the following:
A cop follows us into my boyfriends driveway and claims it is because we have a brake light out. The cop calls backup immediately. He proceeds to viciously pull him out of the car for absolutely no reason. I was forced to sit in the car until another cop came and detained me..
In 1977, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Pennsylvania vs Mimms that it is not a Constitutional violation for a police officer to order an occupant out of a car during a traffic stop because of "officer safety."