Police body camera footage has revealed another side to a story told by a South Carolina woman claiming to have underwent a “traumatic experience” following a routine traffic stop.
In a Facebook Live video posted on April 27 Dawn Hilton-Williams claimed to be a victim of racism after she was pulled over by a Brunswick County Sheriff’s sergeant on Route 58 in Virginia going 70 mph in a 55. Hilton-Williams was asked to sign a summons confirming she would appear in court or pre-pay a traffic ticket, reports Fox News.
“It doesn’t matter how polite you are, it’s all sick, crazy bullying and the police are ridiculous,” Hilton-Williams said, inexplicably emotional after the routine stop as she wiped tears away during the 11 minute video.
But body camera footage released by the sheriff’s office last week tells a different story. The video shows Hilton-Williams spring to berating the officer as she demanded to know where the 55mph signs were.
“You didn’t give me a warning, you gave me an actual ticket?” she asks the traffic cop.
“Yeah, no warnings today ma’am,” the officer replied.
The situation escalates when Hilton-William will not sign the summons.
“What you are signing here is a promise to come to court or a promise to pre-pay. It’s not an admission of guilt. It’s only a promise to me that you’re gonna get it taken care of by either coming to court or pre-paying it,” the officer politely explained.
“If you refuse to sign the summons, at this point, I’m going to have to get you outside of this car, I’m going to place you under arrest and take you in front of a magistrate. I will get your vehicle towed and go from there.”
Hilton-Williams then attempted to stop the conversation to take a phone call.
“You do not have a choice but to sign this summons,” he tells her, ignoring the interruption. “So once again you’re signing right there so thank you, I knew you were going to sign it. Thank you very much.”
Hilton-Williams eventually responded to the standard request by signing the paper and promptly took to Facebook to bad mouth the officer.
“I have had a traumatic experience and I want the people who are not African-American who know me to really get where we are coming from,” she told her followers. “When I saw the police pull up behind me, the state trooper, I was immediately afraid.”
“This is the area I’m in,” she says as she revealed the rural road on camera. “In the middle of, this kind of stuff. This is where I am, so it’s not like I’m not afraid, because this is where we got lynched.”
She continues, “Do any of my white friends…feel like that when they get pulled over?…Are they afraid that they are never going to come home or see anybody else because police are at the door saying [I’m going] to pull you out of the car? Why do only African-Americans and people of color know what I’m going through right now?”
Hilton-Williams wraps up the rant with saying “when you’re African-American and you get pulled out of the car you get shot, or you get tased, or you get Sandra Bland, if you are a woman.”
Brunswick County Sheriff Brian Roberts told WVTR he was looking into the claim after the video went viral and the Sheriff’s Department received several complaint calls.
“I don’t know what she has been through and I don’t know her life history, what I worry about is this kind of thing will inflame situations where you see cops in other states have been executed while they were just eating lunch,” Roberts warned.
Roberts then told reporters that he watched the footage and the officer did nothing unusual or wrong.
“This video here, there are things I could go over and critique the officer on, it’s not racial things, it’s not hate things. Certainly some etiquette or verbal judo that could be fixed and improved upon,” he said to WTVR. “What’s ultimately going to be accomplished, it’s not going to make the ticket go away, it’s not going to solve anything. It’s only causing more problems.”
Watch Hilton-Williams’s viral ‘racism’ video
…then see what really happened
feature image via Raw Story