A North Carolina cop demanding an African-American motorist’s car keys unlawfully during a traffic stop was caught on camera by a good samaritan manhandling the mother of small children this week, in a video gone viral which you can see below.
Winston-Salem police officer James Carter waited until he thought the woman recording the incident was going to leave and then slammed Tekara Williams to the pavement over an expired license plate.
Her kids saw it all.
Officer Carter had pulled over Williams for driving 51 mph in a 35 mph zone, and when the video begins, the tall Caucasian officer has the shorter woman’s wrists in his hands and pinned her inside the driver’s side door frame while she loudly protested.
“In an interview with a Winston-Salem Journal reporter Thursday, Williams said she told Carter she wanted to call her grandfather because he owns the car, adding that she had turned off the ignition and put the keys on the passenger seat.”
She also said she didn’t know that the insurance coverage on the car had lapsed and that the car displayed an expired registration plate.
Police said that the plate’s expiration gave them the right to seize the vehicle’s license plate
As the good samaritan arrived and began recording, Tekara Williams was demanding to know why the police officer wanted to arrest her in front of her children.
“There is no reason for you to do this sir, you pulled me over for a speeding ticket. What are you doing?!? No sir, I want someone here now. Thank you ma’am.” Williams said to the woman recording her arrest.”
“My name is Tekera Williams,” she continued, while holding her phone in her other hand, “I have no idea what he is stopping me. Help me. This is Winston-Salem Police Department and his name is…”
“Let me have your hands,” demanded Officer Carter.
“is.. Officer Carter.” Said Williams “He’s harassing me and not telling me what he’s putting me in handcuffs right now.”
“Let me have your hand,” the officer demanded again.
“No sir, no sir, not until my grandfather gets here.” Said Williams before turning to the woman recording the incident and saying, “He said he is scared. Said he is doing this for his safety.”
“I don’t care, I don’t want you to have the keys,” replied the officer, who had fully pinned the suspected fast driving motorist half his size to the driver’s side door frame.
“For what? This is not my vehicle, it’s my grandfathers and he’s on the way. There’s no reason for you to take the vehicle into any type of custody. There is no reason. I would like to know why. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?” Tekara Williams asked in a high pitched scream.
“Your keys, not cooperate,” replied the officer (it’s tough to understand exactly what he said).
Officer Carter’s reply didn’t cite any reason to seize Williams’ car, and none of his later replies ever articulated reasonable suspicion of any crime whatsoever.
“How? You told me turn off the vehicle. I did,” replied Williams.
“I wanted the KEYS,” said Officer Carter
“You wanted the keys to the vehicle? For what?”
“I didn’t want it to back up on my while I’m taking the tag down,” the cop replied, pretty much proving that he had no suspicion that Williams was committing a crime, but rather admitting that he’s either too scared to do his job or paranoid, or possibly both.
The samaritan decided to drive forward and park her car at that point remarking, “I don’t know what happened,” while it seemed like she was deciding if to stay or go, before remarking, “Oh God! He’s gonna throw her on the ground.”
When the woman recording the incident got out of her car, Williams was already on the ground wailing “Oh My God!”
“I never thought I would have to deal with this – North Carolina… – for what? For what? Because I’m a black girl?” Asked the Williams in between open sobs, while her children sat inaudibly present in the back seat of the car. “Honestly, for what? I don’t have anything sir. I gotta take my kids to daycare that I can’t do now. I gotta got to work. I gotta go to work.”
At that point, three minutes into the recording, Officer Carter acknowledged the woman recording the arrest, without attempting to impede her asked her to get out of the roadway, which she did.
While the officer’s behavior towards Tekara Williams was unconstitutional, he did at least allow the good samaritan recording the incident to protect his victim’s decency by adjusting her clothing, which had slipped off her breasts and was probably painfully road burned at that point.
Williams was still justifiably upset after getting covered up as both the officer and the samaritan tried to calm her down and she stood up, which is when her grandfather arrived on the scene and the video concludes.
Officer Carter never articulated a reason for seizing Tekara Williams’ car, or searching her for weapons, or tackling her and handcuffing her other than his unreasonable fear of parking behind her vehicle which resulted in an unlawful demand.
Williams yelled that she was going to sue Carter while he pinned her to the road and sat on her back.