Chattanooga officer David Campbell was fired in February for unlawful arrest and driving recklessly while on duty.
The Times Free Press took an in-depth look into Campbell’s driving habits, documenting several cases where Campbell chose to dangerously exceed the speed limits in order to arrive on the scene of calls for backup and other matters.
By Jack Burns
But it’s the video of Campbell’s arrest of Hanson Melvin which caught our attention and serves as a sort of prophetic word for police officers who abuse their power to harass, intimidate, and arrest citizens unlawfully.
Melvin was reportedly walking outside of the Northgate Crossing Apartments when Campbell approached him and seemingly sarcastically inquired about whether or not Melvin had gotten his driver’s license back or not. The tone and the comment provoked Melvin, who responded by telling Campbell it was “none of your business” and “you harass me every time you see me.” Campbell admitted to a fellow officer he was just “messing with him.”
For no reason, Campbell had premeditated the fact that he would place Melvin under arrest and kidnap him. To be clear, Melvin had committed no crime. He had harmed no one and was minding his own business when this tyrant cop moved in to falsely arrest him.
Melvin was sitting in the back of the car alone, reflecting on his encounter with Campbell and asked himself a few questions. “Why they gotta abuse us like this down here?…Why do they gotta treat us like this?…This ain’t right man!” He said to himself.
Walking while black
Infuriated, apparently, by someone questioning his authority, the officer had demanded to see his license, telling Melvin he was on government property and a government official was demanding it.
That’s when he was arrested for “disorderly conduct” and taken to jail, but the ride was anything but an easy one for the officer who got an earful from the overly frustrated, and some could say, targeted citizen.