Desiree Tims, who is running for the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Mike Turner in 2020, said she was harassed by police after the Democratic Presidential Debate in Westerville, Ohio.
The police chief of the department that performed the traffic stop on Friday said that wasn’t the case – and has the video to prove it.
Tims and her aide were pulled over by Genoa Twp. police last week after the debate. Chief Steve Gammill addresses the claims made by Tims against Officer Craig Jones.
Tims previously would not name the agency or officer who pulled her over to “protect their identities”.
Dashboard camera and audio from the stop (below) show that Jones was professional, courteous and respectful, which are a far cry from the way Tims acted during the stop and her subsequent postings of the stop on social media.
Tims, who is black, tweeted after the debate that she was racially profiled, saying that she and her aide were harassed by police and racially profiled after the debate.
According to police, Tims and her aide parked in a Kroger parking lot to look for a place to eat after the debate. Immediately after leaving that parking lot Tims said she and her aide were pulled over.
Tims said the incident made her feel “embarrassment, humiliation and fear.”
“I want to be viewed as a congressional candidate, or a Democratic candidate, not the black candidate,” Tims wrote. “But because I am a woman and in particular a black woman, I wear a layer of responsibility to share my lived experience.”
What about the part where nothing about her gender, ethnicity or political aspirations had nothing to do with the traffic stop?
Gammill said the area they were pulling out of, near a Tuffy’s Automotive Shop, had been closed for several hours, so activity there seemed unusual.
In the video, Jones says he pulled the car over because he ran a check on the license plate that showed the driver’s license of the registered owner was expired. When he approaches the car, Jones asks for identification.
Tim’s aide tells Jones that Montgomery County mails IDs and she hasn’t received hers yet.
“It’s not expired,” Tims said in the video.
Jones tells Tims that he is not talking to her and continues to talk with her aide.
“Let me talk to the driver please,” Jones said.
At one point, Jones’ partner approaches the other side of the car, shining his flashlight into the backseat.
Tims said that officer’s gun on his holster made her afraid. While they were pulled over, Tims tweeted the following:
“Hi, I’m running for Congress and I get harassed for being a brown woman who knows her rights,” Tims tweeted. “I think he saw two black people in a place that is predominantly white and wanted to see what we were doing.”
Now that the video is public, I wonder of Tims sticks to her original version of the story or issues an apology.
And in case you were wondering, no, this is not the first time that local politicians have harassed cops over doing their jobs; but dragging race into a conversation where it was not relevant.
Imagine having the kind of time and moral superiority necessary to pull your car over and interfere with a legal traffic stop, simply because the person being pulled over is a person of color.
Weston, Massachusetts just so happens to have one of those people.
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Her name is Mary Ellen and it turns out she’s the secretary for the Weston Democratic Town Committee; the party that claims to champion the poor.
Oh, by the way, she lives in the wealthiest of the 351 towns and cities in this state. Somehow, she has determined that the Weston Police are a group of racists. To drive her misguided point home, she stopped and confronted officers who had pulled a vehicle over.
A little background on the traffic stop. A Weston police officer had run plates and found a vehicle being operated with a suspended registration.
Mary Ellen, happening across the scene, went into a phone booth to put on her cape, and came to the rescue of a woman who happened to be a person of color.
She interrupted and interfered with a police traffic stop in which a car was about to be towed. She saw that the woman driving the car was not white, so, she had to do what she does best…harass cops doing their jobs.
Below is the conversation she created.
Mary Ellen:“Do you feel like you were pulled over for a good reason?”
Motorist:“My registration is coming up suspended.”
Mary Ellen (To a cop):“I’m a Weston resident and I’ve had many people of color pulled over in Weston because they’ve had less than luxury cars and stuff like that. I’m very upset because I’ve had friends of color pulled over. I think Weston Police racially profile on a regular basis. I can’t help but notice that these are people of color you’ve put the plate in for. Why is the reason you run the plates?”
Side note. Why does this woman believe that it is her inherent right as a citizen of the city to harass cops who are simply doing their job?
Cop:“Because I run plates all day.”
Cop:“You see people who are African-American, and you think they were stopped based on their color?”
And with an answer that won the day:
Cop:“I’m sorry you live life that way.”
Cop:“You’re interfering with a police investigation.”
Mary Ellen:“What are you investigating?”
Mary Ellen:“Did you let them search your car?”
Motorist: “No they just said get out of the vehicle and they’re towing it….”
Mary Ellen:“If you didn’t give them permission to search your car then they shouldn’t be searching your car. If he didn’t have permission, then he shouldn’t be doing that. Come on!”
Turning her attention back to the officers: “If they didn’t give you permission to do it then I don’t understand why you’re doing it.”
The officer politely explained that they were not searching the vehicle, they were doing an inventory because they were towing the vehicle. This was to protect everyone involved.
Mary Ellen:“I’m unhappy that you ran the plates. Were they speeding?”
“I’ve talked to the chief.”
“I don’t feel safer with you doing this.”
Again, sorry that you live your life with that type of mentality. The fact of the matter is that communities ARE safer when cops run plates and arrest people who are breaking the law.
If only this were an isolated, one-time incident, then maybe she gets a pass for just having a and day. However, Mary Ellen spends an ample amount of time on Facebook trashing cops and calling them racist.
In January or 2018, she took to the Weston community page to say:
“I just stopped to make sure a gentleman of color was OK when I noticed him pulled over in front of Lands Sakes by one of our officers. The Officer was quick to assure me that he ‘was not a racist’ and we ‘did not have a problem with that here’ (profiling).
I would like to formally check that out with our police chief as many more friends of color have been pulled over in this town than my white friends. Would anyone like to join me in the meeting? I have not contacted him yet.”
The very next day, she posted an apology saying:
“I want to apologize to the officer involved for my hasty actions and posting. I would never intend to put anyone in danger and in in hindsight what I did was reflexive and was not helpful. Chief Goulding welcomes a meeting and I am confident he has answers and a plan for a hospitable Weston for all.”
Ironically, that apology and recognition of ‘reflexiveness’ were short-lived, as she continues to have these interactions. And putting people in danger is exactly what she is doing.
Her presence at these traffic stops are a distraction. The officers need to pay complete attention to the people they are contacting. They do not need to have their attention divided between violators and race-baiters.
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