Woman who filmed Florida police officer drawing gun throughout pullover arrested after failing to return automobile


A lady who final month filmed a Florida police officer drawing his weapon throughout a pullover was arrested for failing to return the automobile seen in that viral video, authorities mentioned Friday.

Joneshia Wilkerson, 23, was arrested Tuesday and booked on suspicion of failure to return a leased automobile and fraudulent use of a bank card, in response to to a Pinellas County Sheriff’s assertion.

She rented a Nissan Altima on June 2 from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and it was due again on June 6, the sheriff’s workplace mentioned.

“The credit card number Wilkerson used belonged to a victim in Indiana who was still in possession of their original card,” in response to the sheriff’s assertion.

Wilkerson took cellular phone video of a Tampa police officer pulling her over on June 18 and she or he posted that footage on June 22.

The officer instantly drew a weapon, took cowl behind his automobile door and advised the motive force and passenger to freeze and present their arms, the video confirmed. He advised Wilkerson that the Altima had been reported stolen.

Backup arrived in about 5 minutes earlier than the officer holstered his weapon. Wilkerson and her passenger had been then handcuffed and put behind a police automobile, footage confirmed.

The Altima had been reported stolen by Hertz rental automobile and Tampa police impounded the automobile for the continued Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office investigation, each companies mentioned on the time.

Wilkerson, a member of U.S. Army, had simply returned from deployment and had borrowed the automobile from an acquaintance, the Tampa Police Department mentioned in an announcement.

Wilkerson and her passenger had been later launched with no costs, and Wilkerson denied figuring out something in regards to the historical past of the automobile or the investigation into it being stolen.

“At that time, the investigation in Pinellas County had not been” completed, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Dep. Travis Sibley told NBC News on Friday, saying Tampa police were right not to arrest Wilkerson at that time.

“She told Tampa officers it was a girlfriend’s vehicle and there was no way to tell one way or another.”

Wilkerson could not be immediately reached for comment at two publicly listed for phone numbers for her on Friday.

And a lawyer — who had represented Wilkerson in earlier cases — said Friday that he hadn’t been contacted by her on rental car matter. He declined comment.

Interactions between police and Black suspects have been under increasing scrutiny since the death of George Floyd. The deadly encounter in Minneapolis has sparked worldwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality.

“I want the public to know that I used to see things like this all the time on TV. I never expected someone like me would be put in this position,” Wilkerson, who’s African American, advised NBC News on June 22. “I feel like something needs to happen to the Tampa PD officer who held that gun on me for four minutes. The Tampa PD, they are bullies, and the way they treat people is bad.”

At the time, Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan mentioned suspects in stolen automobile instances may very well be violent and his officer was proper to tug his weapon.

“Stolen automobiles are very often used … to do a distinct kind of crime whether or not you are going to rob somebody, break into homes, it normally results in extra crime, different crimes,” Dugan told reporters on June 22. “That’s why we take such warning relating to stolen automobiles.”

Former NYPD Sgt. Joe Giacalone, an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, viewed the body camera footage and praised both the officer and Wilkerson, saying they each acted appropriately.

“The cop remained cool and the passenger remained cool,” Giacalone told NBC News on June 22. “I want it all the time ended like this, no one in the long run being harm.”

This story has been up to date with new info.