SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio (WJW) — The actions of police officers across the country are under a microscope, and a video posted on Facebook by South Euclid Police reveals some of the challenges that officers are facing during traffic stops.
On June 16, officers pulled over a car on South Green Road for an expired license plate. According to the police report, officers discovered that the driver’s license of 22-year-old William Hansford was suspended, and under Ohio law, he was not allowed to drive.
On the police body camera video, officers repeatedly ask Hansford to get out of his car so they can search it before having it towed, but he refuses. One of the officers tells Hansford, “you can stand on the sidewalk. Sir, this is our policy. We have to inventory the car.”
Hansford tells the officers that he is on the phone with his mother, and police tell him that if she is unable to give him a ride home, they will take him home. But he still refuses to get out of the car.
An officer is heard on the video pleading with Hansford, “please exit the vehicle sir. Go, leave. You don’t need to talk to us. Go away, leave, do not get arrested, go please.”
Police offer to speak with Hansford’s mother on the phone about a possible solution, but he refuses. After negotiating with Hansford for more than 20 minutes, he becomes combative and curses at the officers.
A supervisor called to the scene decides that Hansford should be arrested. Hansford is shown resisting attempts by the officers to pull him from the car, as one patrolman shouts, “get out of the car sir. Please get out of the car. Get out of the car. Stop fighting, stop fighting.”
Hansford was arrested on a charge of obstructing official business. South Euclid police say they shared the video on their Facebook page this week to show the difficulties that officers face when someone refuses to comply.
“[This] demonstrates the patience that officers often display and some would argue in this particular case, maybe too much patience,” Chief Kevin Nietert told Fox 8. “But I also think it’s important for society to understand and realize that just because the police are there, not everybody is compliant.”
Police say under their policies, at any point after Hansford was given a written citation, he would have been free to leave the scene.
On the body cam video, Hansford’s mother is shown arriving at the scene. She told officers that she also tried to convince her son over the phone to comply with the police.
As Hansford is sitting in the back of a police SUV, his mother is heard telling him, “you have to listen to the police, if they say you have to get out of the car, you have to get out of the car.”
Hansford was released, after being given a citation for obstructing official business.
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