Chattanooga police officer David Campbell, hounding a hapless but uppity black through the courts, has in his record a citizen complaint for abusive treatment.
Officer Campbell is under investigation today by his department for what family man Hanson Melvin says is harassment and false arrest premised on lies in a police report.
By David Tulis / Hot News Talk Radio
Mr. Melvin, who lives in an apartment complex across Highway 153 from Northgate mall, has been indicted on the misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. He has a hearing Friday before criminal court Judge Don Poole.
Mr. Campbell’s bullying of Hanson Melvin, 27, is similar to the treatment he doled out in 2012 to another man, William Boston, 20, whom he had stopped for a grievance over a car tag.
For his tirade and threats, Mr. Campbell was reviewed by the Chattanooga police department’s watchdog division and given a three-day suspension. He also was ordered to take conflict resolution training for cursing Mr. Boston for not moving his car out of his way quickly enough.
A cellphone video by Mr. Boston’s video shows his efforts to video the tag in the rear window of his Chevrolet Caprice and officer Campbell charging at him.
‘Do I need to run you over?’
“It is obvious from the video Mr. Boston presented that Officer Campbell is conducting himself in an extremely unprofessional manner during this traffic stop,” wrote Capt. Susan Blaine of internal affairs. “It also appears that Officer Campbell arrested Mr. Boston only because he got angry Mr. Boston did not move his vehicle fast enough following the traffic stop.”
As the Chattanooga Times Free Press tells it:
Boston was given permission to take pictures of his tag to fight the citation in court. He chose to take pictures after officers returned to their cars.
Campbell, who would not leave until Boston left, grew impatient.
“Get away from my [expletive] car. Get back in there. I need to leave and you’re standing in front of my car. I cannot pull out. Or do I need to run you over?” Campbell says in the video.
“I am just taking pictures for evidence in court,” Boston replies.
The camera shows a close-up of Mr. Campbell’s face as he says, “Put your hands behind your back.”
“Please don’t touch me, please don’t touch me. I ain’t done nothing wrong,” Mr. Boston says.
Mr. Campbell is quoted as shifting blame for the confrontation on the traveler. Mr. Boston “had given me a lot of grief throughout the entire traffic stop. … I had just had enough of it. Honestly, I wasn’t looking to make an arrest or anything.” Mr. Campbell gave further justification of his actions at the 1:15 a.m. stop in the 3800 block of Hixson Pike, between the Hixson Pike Medical Center and Grace Bible church.
Mr. Campbell cited public safety. “It wouldn’t look very good if I were to leave and Joe Schmo drunk driver or Suzy Sally texting on her cellphone drives around, tops that crest in that curve and plasters him all over the roadway.”
The internal affairs report said police had stopped Mr. Boston a month before and seized from a car a handgun and marijuana.
Citizen ‘feared for life’
“I was so embarrassed and quite frankly feared for my life,” Mr. Boston said in a letter to Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield, demanding an inquiry. “All I could think about was where I had seen on TV where people had been brutally beaten by the police.”
The charges against him were dropped.
Beth Burger, “Chattanooga police officer’s tirade caught on video,” Chattanooga Times Free Press, Sept. 29, 2012. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2012/sep/29/chattanooga-officers-tirade-caught-on-video/89241/
Meet Hanson Melvin of Chattanooga
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