Caught on camera: Traffic stop triggers police review

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SANDUSKY, Ohio- A traffic stop by Sandusky police is now part of an internal review.

Andre Stockett, of Huron, and his girlfriend were stopped by Sandusky police last Wednesday on a traffic violation.  Stockett, who says he is constantly being harassed by police, videotaped the stop.

“I’m scared for my life,” Stockett can be heard telling police on the video.  He recorded six minutes of the traffic stop on his cell phone.

“I had my two-week-old son in the car, and they were still harassing us,” Stockett said.

Sandusky City Manager Eric Wobser said the videotape was reviewed by prosecutors, who determined the police officers did not violate any criminal matters.  He said the police department will now go over it and decide if any departmental policies or procedures were violated.

“We take these matters very seriously,” Wobser said. “There is an ongoing review of it taking place.”  He said he is not sure when the review will be done but hopes it will be soon.

However, Stockett and his attorney, Geoffrey Oglesby, believe the police officers did violate Stockett and his girlfriend’s constitutional rights.

During the video, you can hear the officer asking Stockett several times to identify himself.  The officer said that Stockett looked like a man wanted on a felony warrant.

“He knew who I was,” Stockett said.  “I spoke to that officer just a few minutes before this happened. I was waiting for my girlfriend to pick me up. He saw me flagging down the car.”

But police said they stopped the car because the Ohio license plate number showed Stockett’s girlfriend had an expired Ohio driver’s license.  She now, however, has a valid Michigan license.

Stockett said once police knew his girlfriend was valid they should have let him go.  Instead they forced him and his girlfriend out of the car, saying a K-9 unit made a “hit” on the car.

No drugs were found in the car.

Stockett and his girlfriend were both charged with obstructing official business.

“I am convinced they knew exactly who he was,” said Oglesby.  “And I’m sure he will be exonerated, because it was was not his intention to obstruct or delay. He knew we was being set up; he was being harassed.”

Stockett said he is constantly being stopped by police because he has a prior criminal record.

“I am turning my life around. God gave me a second chance and it’s not fair my kids have to go through this,” Stockett said.

Jim Jackon, president of the Sandusky Chapter of the NAACP, said his agency will be following this case closely.  He said he wants the department to get more diversity training.

Stockett and his girlfriend are due back in court in November.