A police encounter captured on video in Huntsville, Alabama has a family demanding accountability.
The incident happened on Sunday, Dec. 13 when police attempted to pull over 23-year-old Xavier Tate for a minor traffic infraction. Instead of pulling over immediately, Tate chose to drive home and pull over there.
According to Tate’s mother, Lakeita Fletcher, her son was on his way to her place to pick up his dog when police attempted to pull him over because his window tints were too dark.
She said he didn’t immediately stop for police because she told him to pull over somewhere he feels safe if he is ever stopped by police.
“I always told my son, with what’s going on in the world right now with these cops jumping on these young Black men, if they ever get behind you, son, you take them to a store somewhere that’s open where you feel safe, or either if you close to home, you come home,” she said.
After he pulled up outside, she said she saw two police officers draw their guns and order him to put his hands out of the window, which she said he did.
They got him out of the car and put him on the ground.
In the video, Tate’s aunt, Shanika Fletcher, can be heard telling one of the officers that he was trying to drive home so he could feel safe as Tate was in handcuffs and being arrested.
The officer is responding calmly and saying, “I understand.”
The scene appears to be calming down as both women use their cell phones.
At that point another officer, identified as Officer Worley by his badge, briskly walks up and grabs Lakeita. Worley, with the assistance of the other officer who was just talking to the women, takes Lakeita to the ground and cuffs her.
The bystanders, which include Shanika, her husband, Zelnita Williams and her boyfriend, Dantraeon Calvert, start to yell, outraged.
At some point, Shanika is also put in cuffs and arrested. She can be seen being taken to a squad car in the recording.
Minutes later, as other officers have almost calmed the scene again, Officer Worley approaches and gets into an argument with Dantraeon. Officer Worley tells Dantraeon to back up but then steps closer to him seconds later.
After Dantraeon tells Worley he thinks he can do whatever he wants because he is a cop. The officer rips his Velcro attached badge off his chest and waves it in Dantraeon’s direction while saying something that is inaudible on the video.
Shanika Fletcher and her sister were released on a $500 bond after several hours after the incident. She says after the encounter with Officer Worley, she has pain in her wrist, neck and shoulders, and a sore hip.
According to WZDX, they contacted Huntsville Police for comment. Lt. Jesse Sumlin, Public Information Officer, said, “We are aware of the video. The video is under investigation. Until the investigation is completed we’ll speak more on the incident.”