WATCH: Virginia Man Tased, Arrested During Traffic Stop for Busted Brake Light
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Elkanah Odembo, a 19-year-old resident of Virginia, was tased and arrested Tuesday by an officer with the Chesterfield County Police Department after being pulled over in his own driveway for having a brake light out.
Footage of the driveway altercation was filmed by Odembo’s girlfriend and later uploaded onto his Twitter account. The recording begins with Odembo telling his partner to record the interaction as the officer repeatedly tries to pull him out of the car, saying that the teenager is being uncooperative.
”Get out of the vehicle,” the unidentified officer says while grabbing Odembo’s arm. “Get out of the vehicle.”
The officer justified detaining Odembo by saying, “because he’s not cooperating with me and he keeps trying to get out of the vehicle.” In response, both Odembo and his girlfriend call the officer’s claim false.
After asking what he’s being charged with, the officer states he’s “being detained” and that he “has a brake light out.”
The video later cuts out after Odembo is seen being pulled out from the car and his girlfriend’s muffled cries ring out.
According to local station WRIC, moments after the recording cut off a scuffle between the officer and Odembo took place before the teen was able to run into his home. A second altercation took place inside the residence; it was during this time that Odembo was tased before being taken in custody.
Responding to the bubbling outrage, Chesterfield Police Chief Jeffrey Katz took to Twitter early Wednesday morning, stating that conclusions were being made without having the full story.
Katz later told WRIC that he’d reviewed the footage from the officer’s body-worn camera and determined that the traffic stop was “legal” and that proper protocol was followed.
“The fact is it was a legal, lawful traffic stop,” Katz told the station. “And as the driver of a vehicle, the driver has a responsibility to cooperate with that stop, and the driver chose not to do that.”
“The minute the driver chose not to cooperate, then the officer has a responsibility to gain control of that stop,” he added.
According to law enforcement’s side of the story, the responding officer had attempted to stop the vehicle for an equipment failure. However, Odembo opted instead to pull into a driveway. Once the officer approached the vehicle, Odembo, who was uncooperative, attempted to exit the car and rush past the officer.
Odembo has since been charged with assault on a law enforcement officer, three counts of obstruction of justice with force and defective equipment on his car.
The body camera recording will be released at a later time, as the police investigation into the incident is ongoing.