An Oakland Tennessee police officer has been placed on administrative leave after a violent arrest was caught on camera according to a CNN report. The unarmed Black man was left beaten and bloodied for allegedly running a stop sign.
On July 16, Brandon Calloway, 25, was finishing up a Doordash delivery near his home in Oakland, Tennessee about 40 miles east of Memphis, when he was stopped by Oakland police for reportedly running a stop sign and speeding.
“They attempted to stop him, at some point they describe him as driving a 32 in a 20-mph zone, his house was a short distance away when this subsequent encounter took place at his home,” said Andre Wharton, Calloway’s attorney.
According to an affidavit obtained by WREG, police say Calloway drove six blocks to his home instead of stopping after an office tried to pull him over for running a stop. Once at the home, Calloway ran inside his house — where two women, including his girlfriend, were home at the time — and remonstrated with the officer through the door for several minutes, saying he’d done nothing wrong.
When asked why Calloway fled the traffic stop, Calloway’s attorney, Andre Wharton spoke in general terms about why Black males are afraid of police.
“I’m not able to give specifics on that aspect [why Calloway fled], since there is a pending case against him,” Wharton said. “However, only generally speaking, many of us as African-American males in particular are often fearful and want to get to a safe space so that there are others to document and observe what’s happening. It’s, unfortunately, a sign of our times.”
Any such fears Calloway might have had were realized after three officers broke down the door.
“One of the officers is carrying a baton and they have that out immediately, they’re going in and they’re swinging, there’s no restraint used in terms of attempted restraint when they go in and they just go in swinging and shooting and apparently administering their taser,” said Wharton.
Cellphone video shows the officers busting the front door open pursuing Calloway inside his home. Calloway can be seen running upstairs and trying to hide behind a couch, but the three officers catch up to him, beat him, and tased him. The aftermath of the police encounter shows Calloway’s face bloodied while he’s being taken out of his home in handcuffs by police.
“Things happened, too aggressively, too quickly, there are other options that could have been utilized and that’s our point,” Wharton said. “A lot of the photos you’ve probably seen have him laid out as if he’s unconscious, we believe he was unconscious,” he further added.
Wharton believes police went too far and claims excessive force noting Calloway possessed no weapons. He also says his client is experiencing flashbacks, extreme headaches and is currently under a doctor’s care because of the beating he received.
“There are no firearms here, there are no knives, there are no bats, there’s nothing of any of that nature that would warrant that kind of reaction by the officers,” Wharton said.
Calloway was charged with evading arrest, resisting arrest, failing to stop at a stop sign and speeding. Under Tennessee law, evading arrest with a motor vehicle is considered a felony and carries with it 30 days of confinement up to six years in prison as well as fines up to $3,000.
Wharton and Calloway want the Oakland police officers involved in the case of alleged excessive force to face stiff consequences including possible termination, and at this time, they have not ruled out a civil lawsuit.
“One of the ways to show accountability is through civil damages, and we hope in discussions with the town of Oakland they would acknowledge that and compensate him,” Wharton said.
Oakland Police Chief, Chris Earl directed Atlanta Black Star’s request to District Attorney General, 25th Judicial District, Mark Davidson. Davidson confirmed to Atlanta Black Star, he wanted the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to review the case. A spokeswoman with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirmed to Atlanta Black Star, it is investigating the arrest, but could not provide additional information regarding the case.
Wharton and Calloway want a meeting with Oakland town officials for a possible resolution to this matter.