Cop Resigns After Video Exposes Her Role in Mistaking Innocent Man for a Thief Leading to His Beating
Article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.
One day after the public release of body-worn camera footage showed excessive and altogether unnecessary force against a Greensboro, North Carolina, resident sitting on his own front porch led to the permanent suspension of one officer’s law enforcement certification, the second officer involved has tendered her resignation.
Officer Charlotte N. Jackson resigned this week, according to Greensboro Police spokesperson Susan Danielsen cited by Triad City Beat, likely due to public outcry over the female cop’s role in the harassment, intimidation, and assault on resident Dejuan Yourse.
On June 17, Yourse waited for his mom to meet him at the house he’s intermittently shared with her for a decade, and because he did not have a current key, she asked him to wait on the front porch in the quiet neighborhood.
An unidentified person who did not recognize the man thought he was a prowler and called police to report a possible case of breaking and entering. Responding officers Cole and Jackson approached Yourse under the assumption the caller — not the man relaxing calmly in broad daylight on the front porch where anyone passing by could clearly see him — must be correct.
Although the encounter didn’t begin badly, the situation quickly unravels when it becomes apparent the feckless cops don’t actually want the truth, but would rather arrest a cooperative and innocent man who had literally done nothing wrong.
Jackson, whom police did not immediately identify, first walks to the porch and briefly interviews Yourse to assess the situation, and learns he’s waiting for his mother. Cole, dead set on prowler scenario, then walks to the porch, saying,
“What are you doin’ breaking into your mom’s house?”
“I’m not breaking in here,” Youse replies, laughing.
Their exchange continues, with Yourse showing impressive restraint and remaining unflustered by the officer’s obvious skepticism he isn’t a robber. Although the man did not have his ID, had Cole employed even a smidgen of logic — Yourse was fully cooperative, sitting on a chair on the front porch of the home, with his own car parked in the driveway — the disturbing events that followed might never have happened.
At one point, Yourse attempts to call his mother, handing the phone to Cole to prove he isn’t lying — but, as footage indicates, learning the truth about Yourse’s presence was likely never the goal for either officer.
When his mother doesn’t answer, Yourse points to and names neighbors who would be glad to clear up the misunderstanding if one of the pair of cops would simply inquire.
None of Yourse’s attempts to placate the cops work, and eventually, Cole decides it’s time to play tough guy — poking the man as he stands up, saying, “I said sit down.”
“Hey, man, why are you doing this?” Yourse asks, finally showing a bit of frustration with the needless harassment.
Cole shoots back with the ridiculous assertion Yourse is acting ‘animated,’ which was not the case until the thug cop escalated the encounter from harassment to intimidation.
Determined to prove he isn’t out of place on the front porch of his own home, Yourse begins to call someone to the residence to prove his identity — but Cole, becoming the robber he assumed Yourse to be, snatches the man’s phone from his hands.
“Hey, man, you can’t grab my phone like that!”
But the bully cop has already decided to arrest the black man for being out-of-place in his own neighborhood, on his own front porch — truth be damned.
Body cam footage shows Cole grab Yourse, knocking him to the porch floor as he tries to cuff his wrists. Several times, the officer bellows at the man to stop resisting, but video clearly shows — despite the wholly unjustified arrest — he never does.
Jackson joins the ‘struggle,’ and Cole punches Yourse in the eye before the two finally figure out the man’s size would require two sets of cuffs. They then drag Yourse through his front yard to a waiting patrol car, at one point slamming him on his chest.
“Sit right here! Do NOT fuckin’ move. Don’t say another damned word,” Cole threatens the innocent man. “This is not working out, apparently.”
“Be an adult,” Jackson patronizingly adds for no reason.
“What did I do?” the perplexed man demands fruitlessly.
“Be an adult. Be an adult.”
Before body cam footage was released, Yourse faced a litany of charges — documents cited by Triad City Beat said Jackson accused the man of “using his shoulder to press her wrist against a door frame” — but they have all since been dropped.
Greensboro City Council voted unanimously last week to permanently suspend Cole’s law enforcement certification, which is perhaps the most fitting disciplinary action, considering many violent cops terminated from one department are free to move on to join another. In fact, Cole attempted to stave off such a move by resigning August 16th ahead of a disciplinary hearing, despite the District Attorney having found he did not commit a crime.
Now Jackson has resigned — although many residents wondered whether she should have faced the same fate as Cole.
But police association attorney William Hill, reported WFMY, claims the public release by the city of Jackson’s body cam video violated the N.C. Personnel Privacy Act — which is a misdemeanor — and trampled her rights to due process.
Asked if Jackson or the police association plan to file a lawsuit in the matter, Hill had no comment.
When people who support police without question claim the cops are ‘just doing their jobs’ and are keeping law and order, they ignore the growing number of cases like this.
Yourse had not done anything illegal. He wasn’t disrespectful or noncompliant. He did not escalate the situation. He did not become violent.
He did, however, try to sit peacefully on his own front porch waiting for his mom — in a police state.