Police Release BodyCam Footage of Cop Pulling Gun on Black Woman After She Posts Video of Incident [Video]

Wilkerson is a member of the U.S. Army and borrowed the car from an acquaintance after returning from a recent deployment; she did not know it was reported stolen.

Tampa Bay police released bodycam footage to show their own version of an incident that was also recorded and posted to social media by a Black woman who was pulled over.

The move comes as encounters with police and Black Americans have come under greater scrutiny following the deaths of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, and many others who have died at the hands of law enforcement.

On Friday, Joneshia Wilkerson, 25, shared a video to her Instagram account where she sat in a Nissan Altima while a cop held a gun pointed towards her direction for about five minutes before backup arrived.

“Y’all I got pulled over and this cop is literally pointing a gun at me. He still didn’t put his gun down,” she said in the one-minute clip. “Sir, can you at least put your gun down?”

In the caption, Wilkerson wrote, “I told him numerous times I can get out the car and I’m not arm yet he still pointed his gun at me I was scared and in fear with my life and he kept telling me to keep my hands on the wheels like he was gonna shoot and I kept telling him that my hands are up I never once lowered my hands!”

“The last thing I need is a gun pointed to my head,” she added.

Tampa Bay authorities released the bodycam footage from the officer on Saturday in a news release to counter what they called a “false narrative” regarding the incident, per Tampa Bay Times.

“There is a post circulating on social media that misrepresents the facts of a recent felony traffic stop of an occupied stolen vehicle,” read the statement.

The bodycam footage shows the officer pointing his weapon towards Wilkerson while he announces the car is reported stolen. Backup arrives and the officers handcuff Wilkerson, put her in the back seat of a patrol car and eventually release her without charges.

Police said the officer was correct in the way he handled a situation involving a stolen car.

“Stolen cars are quite often used — to do a different type of crime whether you’re going to rob someone, break into houses, it usually leads to more crime, other crimes,” said Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan on Monday, per the outlet. “That’s why we take such caution when it comes to stolen cars.”

“The officer put in his gun in a low ready where it’s not pointed directly at the person but its already out and can be used and easily raised if they have to defend themselves,” he added.

Wilkerson is a member of the U.S. Army and, according to law enforcement, borrowed the car from an acquaintance after returning from a recent deployment; she did not know it was reported stolen.

“The stolen vehicle was impounded,” police said. “The occupants were not charged.”

“Upon completing the investigation, the driver and passenger were released and appeared to understand the explanation provided by the officers,” police said in the news release.

Wilkerson, however, spoke with NBC News about the incident, saying she still felt the officer was in the wrong.

“I feel like something needs to happen to the Tampa PD officer who held that gun on me for four minutes. The Tampa PD, they are bullies, and the way they treat people is bad.”

Watch both videos above.

[via TooFab]

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