Detroit police have charged a college student who was out picking up medicine for his girlfriend with a felony for waiting to pull over until he reached a well-lit area.
DaJuawn Wallace, 24, a master’s student at Saginaw Valley State University has been charged with fleeing and eluding after driving 1.5 miles to a bright parking lot before stopping for a police officer who had activated his lights.
The low-speed pursuit took place on February 19, around 2 a.m. and was captured on the officer’s dashcam.
Upon realizing he was being pulled over, Wallace moved to the right lane and hand signaled to the officer. He did not speed up or attempt to flee.
“I live in Detroit, and I know some people who were robbed by fake police officers,” Wallace told Raw Story. “I was taught to find a well-lit area to pullover in.”
“I was not speeding up, turning off my lights or trying to get away,” he added.
In the footage, we see Wallace pull into a parking lot and exit the vehicle with his hands up and comply with the officer entirely.
Inside the vehicle, the Detroit student calmly explains to the officer that he is concerned about fake police vehicles being used to rob people, and that his mother told him to always find a well-lit area before stopping, for his safety.
The reason Wallace was being pulled over, was that Officer Leon Wilson claimed that his vehicle resembled one seen driving on the SVSU campus sidewalk, although the officer admitted that he could not see the make or model of the vehicle in question.
Wallace’s vehicle allegedly just “looked like the same color and was leaving the immediate area.”
“The driver made no attempt to pull over and stop,” Wilson wrote in the police report. “I observed the driver stick his hands out of the window a couple of times.
I did not see the driver throw anything from the vehicle, though it was dark and the road was poorly lit.”
On June 12, the chief prosecutor in the case, Christopher Boyd, offered a plea deal under the condition that Wallace plead guilty to a misdemeanor with a delayed sentence.
The deal would have allowed the college student’s charges to be dismissed if he completed one year of probation without incident.
“Most people will say fine, thank you for not sending me to jail. Well, that will be detrimental to me,” Wallace explained.
“If I had to take a plea for a felony, I would be forced to resign my job, and I wouldn’t be able to get financial aid, and I wouldn’t be able to do anything with my degree. Even still with the misdemeanor.”
Wallace did not accept the plea deal as he maintains that he did not do anything wrong.