Date of incident: 6/22/18 at approx. 10:30 p.m.
Age at time: 37 years
I was giving my little brother a ride home and traveling eastbound on Watrous Ave and pulled to a 4 way intersection on SE 5th and Watrous. When I get to the stop sign, an officer pulled to a stop sign on SE 5th going south. He turns his blinker on to go west on Watrous while I continued to go East on Watrous.
At that moment when we both pulled away from the stop sign, the officer stared us down.
We pulled into the Custard place at SE 14th & Watrous, but the line was too long and we decided not to wait. I pulled out of the parking lot of the frozen custard place and turned right onto Southeast 14th and continued to go South. I looked in my rearview mirror and told my brother “here they come” referring to the police.
The officer immediately came flying up behind me and about 6 seconds later turned their cherry lights on. At that point, I was looking for a place to stop because I was on a busy street. I get to Culver’s on SE 14th and Hart and take a left at the light to get out of the way of traffic and pulled into the parking lot.
When I pulled into my parking spot, the officer immediately got out of her car with her gun drawn. The officer’s name was Kelly Stuhr. She told me “don’t get out of your vehicle”. I instantly reply “you got your gun out and y’all know what you’re doing to people so I’m going to keep my arms out this window and I’m going to get out of my car and lay on the ground.” At that point, I got out of the car and she continued to yell directives at me.
I get on my knees and I lay on the ground. I was on a patch of grass so I told her I was going to move back because I have allergies.
As soon as I move back, she came up on me and put me in handcuffs, places me in the back of the cop car. Several other patrol cars and officers came upon the scene, including probation and parole. I then asked her “what is the reason you stopped me?”. She replied, “your paper sticker isn’t noticeable”. My response was “it’s a dealer’s tag, it’s legit.” She responded “can you see the date on the tag?”. My reply was “Yes, I can.” She then said, “what does the date say?” and I replied “July 28th”.
At that moment, she took her dome light from her patrol car and flashed it on the paper sticker and told me I have good eyes. It was clearly visible. She then got out of the car, searched the vehicle without my consent. She said her probable cause was I didn’t have a driver’s license and I was acting suspicious.
My brother was in the passenger seat of the car until they searched my car. They ran his information and let him go.
She searched the car I was driving and apparently found marijuana residue that I still do not know if it was actually in the car. Later when I went to court on 10/10/18 –the paper work says 0.28 grams of marijuana.
After she searched the car, she asked me who’s car it was. I told her it’s my son’s mother’s car. At that time, she came to her car, grabbed a toolbox, went back to the vehicle I was driving and began to unscrew the floor panels. She pulled up the carpet enough to see if there was drug paraphernalia. She then came back to the car and said she was charging me with marijuana possession and she was going to look up my record to see if she was going to charge me with a felony or with a simple or aggravated misdemeanor.
We sat there and waited for the tow truck and paddy wagon to come and they transported me to Polk County Jail. She charged me with an aggravated misdemeanor and when I appeared in court 10/10/18 they bumped it up to a felony possession of marijuana.
I have drug convictions from 1999 and 2012 – both were possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine. I have not been charged with any drug charges since 2012.