Norman, Oklahoma, police officers are investigating a couple for false reporting after they called 911 and claimed a Black man pulled a gun on them during a road rage incident, although a search by police yielded no weapons.
“There’s repercussions for false reporting of a crime, so that’s something that we’re definitely going to take a look at this week to see if there’s anything we can do on that side of the call,” Norman Police Department Maj. Jamie Shattuck said.
On June 15, Steven Bomar was filling his vehicle with gas when he was approached by Norman police officers who had their guns raised and placed him in handcuffs.
From Bomar’s perspective, a white couple had just cut him off, given him the middle finger and called him the N-word during a road rage incident. Bomar ignored the incident and stopped at a gas station before officers approached him.
The caller who contacted police after the altercation said Bomar had pulled a gun and told the dispatcher, “It’s a black guy, and he’s in a newer red Chevy Suburban and it has rims on it.” The caller’s vehicle allegedly had a large “Back the Blue” sticker on it.
Footage shows how Bomar reacted when officers approached him with their guns drawn.
“Hey, let me see your hands,” an officer said as he pointed the gun at Bomar while exiting the police vehicle. Bomar said he was scared and officers told them he was being detained, not arrested, as they asked him to step out of the vehicle and placed him in handcuffs.
“They rolled their window down, called me a n—er,” Bomar said in the video. “I didn’t say anything to them, didn’t do anything to them.”
Bomar believed the couple were drug users with visible scabs on their face. He added, “I could tell those people just didn’t like me. Obviously, they shouted racial slurs at me and they had a Blue Lives Matter sticker on the back of their car. And so, they wanted to try to get me into some trouble, obviously.”
Officers put Bomar in the back of a police vehicle. “If you guys need to search my truck you can, there’s no firearm, I don’t have a gun, I don’t carry a gun,” he said from the back seat.
He told the Black Wall Street Times, “I told him that I was f—ing scared and I didn’t know what to do, I just wanted to comply. I was detained and they told me that someone called road rage on me and that I was chasing them with a gun, and, as you can imagine, the cops did not find any gun.”
Officers did search Bomar’s vehicle and didn’t find any guns. He was detained for about 15 minutes before officers removed the handcuffs and released him. Officers offered their apologies about what happened and a supervisor also arrived on the scene to extended his apologies.
Norman Police Department Public Information Officer Sarah Jensen told The Black Wall Street Times the way the officers responded is standard.
“This is standard response protocol on a report of an individual feloniously pointing a firearm at another individual(s). Based on the information reported to the Norman Communications Center, officers responded in a manner that prioritizes safety for all,” she said
Police tried to call the couple back multiple times but were unable to make contact with them.
“I am really upset about those people just randomly calling the cops on me saying I have a gun because I’m in a nice car and I’m Black with dreadlocks,” Bomar said.
Chief Kevin Foster said a record of the couple’s number would be kept and that action would be taken if something happened again, but according to Councilwoman Brandi Studley, she learned after speaking with Foster that the caller gave a different number than the one they called from and provided a fake name.
The Criminal Investigations Division is investigating the incident. In Oklahoma, falsely reporting a crime is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine or a year in jail.