Open in App
  • Local
  • U.S.
  • Election
  • Politics
  • Crime
  • Sports
  • Lifestyle
  • Education
  • Real Estate
  • Newsletter
  • Atlanta Black Star

    ‘You’re Going to Shoot Me or Something?’: Cincinnati Cop Pulls Gun On Black Man Filming His Friend’s Arrest, Blocking His View Before Charging Him with Obstruction

    By Carlos Miller,

    30 days ago

    Cincinnati police claimed they arrested Eddie Lee for obstructing as he filmed them shocking, pepper spraying, and arresting another Black man last week in a video that has since gone viral.

    But Lee’s video shows it was the cops obstructing his First Amendment right to document police activity when one of the cops stood in front of him with his gun drawn, blocking his view of the arrest and apparently threatening to shoot him if he dared come any closer.

    “You’re going to shoot me or something?” Lee said. “I ain’t got no gun. You got a gun to me, bro. You ain’t even got your stun gun out.”

    When Lee tried to move to the side to get a clearer shot of the arrest, the cop moved sideways to continue blocking his view, pointing his gun in Lee’s direction with the barrel pointed downward, his finger on the side of the barrel.

    “You can’t block me, bro,” Lee said. “I ain’t did sh-t to you. I don’t know why you keep walking on me. Look, he ready to do something to me.”

    Seconds later, another cop, who appears to be the sergeant from the beginning of the video, walks up and arrests him. Lee was charged with obstructing official business, according to Hamilton County court records , a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail.

    His friend, Johnnie Taylor, the other man getting arrested, was charged with obstruction and resisting arrest, the latter being a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail.

    The incident took place Saturday in Government Square, Cincinnati’s main transit center in downtown. Lee posted the video on Facebook on Monday, and it has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

    Cincinnati police said they are investigating the video but have yet to explain what led up to the initial arrest. The Citizen Complaint Authority is also investigating the incident. On its website, it describes itself as an “advisory Board of seven citizens appointed by the Mayor and approved by City Council.”

    Lee told local media he and Taylor were minding their own business when police approached them and began accusing them of smoking marijuana.

    “Out of nowhere, the police just came over and accused us of smoking weed, and nobody was smoking any weed right then,” Lee told Fox 19. “And [Taylor] just stepped up and said, ‘You can’t talk to us like that. We weren’t doing anything.’”

    The local police union, Cincinnati FOP Queen City Lodge #69, defended the arrests on Facebook by claiming Taylor was “engaging in criminal behavior,” but that criminal behavior is not mentioned anywhere in the complaint filed against him in the Hamilton County Municipal Court nor is it mentioned in the Facebook post :

    Let’s unpack this video. This Sergeant was working Government Square to provide security for a bus stop that is well known for open air drug sales, violent behavior and many who carry firearms. As the Sergeant attempts to address a subject who is engaging in criminal behavior the subject immediately becomes hostile and threatening the officer. The subject’s family and friends attempt to intervene putting the Sergeant at a tactical disadvantage . The Sergeant radios for back up. Back up arrives and the non compliant subject resists arrest.  After being maced and tased, multiple officers are able to make an arrest.

    Now let’s go to the officer who has a firearm drawn in a low ready position, not pointed at anyone. This officer is in a “rear guard” position to protect the backs of the officers who are engaging a subject who is violently resisting arrest. At no time was the firearm pointed at any one person.

    Finally, the restraint shown was remarkable. These officers should be applauded for trying to make Government Square, an already violent place, a little bit safer. My question is will the City Administration and the Police  Administration support Officers who are doing proactive work to make Cincinnati safer?

    The two charges filed against Taylor stem from him resisting their attempts to arrest him, but it is still not clear why they needed to arrest him in the first place.

    “Don’t have a knee-jerk reaction,” Ken Kober, president of the local union, told WLWT.

    “This video showed not the whole picture of what happened. Let this investigation take its course. Cincinnati police are investigating it. Wait until the findings come out. Let all of the video footage come out. Let the police department do their job and see what ultimately did transpire and then you can pass judgment as to what the findings are,” Kober added.

    But Cincinnati police have announced no plans to release any body camera footage that may enlighten citizens to the truth.

    Lee’s video, which is 3:45 minutes long, begins after the confrontation had already begun, showing a police sergeant with his Taser drawn, ordering Taylor to “put your hands behind your back” as a woman stands between them, trying to deescalate the situation by telling Taylor to “chill out” and the sergeant to “please don’t shoot him.”

    But the sergeant fires the Taser, which had no effect on Taylor, probably because he was wearing two layers of loose shirts, preventing the prongs from reaching his body.

    “You tased me for what? I ain’t doing nothing,” Taylor responds.

    Taylor and the cop continue arguing with each other as the woman remains between them. Although she was not arrested or abused by the cops, eventually, more officers arrive and force the man onto a bus bench, where he is pepper-sprayed and shocked again.

    “You ain’t got to do that, bro,” Lee says as he records, drawing the attention of the cop, who then stands in front of him with his gun drawn.

    In 2019, Cincinnati police arrested an autistic Black man who was walking him from a friend’s house at 11 p.m., shocking him multiple times before throwing him in jail on charges of jaywalking, resisting arrest and being in a park after dark.

    Brandon Davis, who was shocked seven times in 2:14 minutes, was acquitted of the charges and filed a lawsuit in 2021, which claimed he was targeted “for no reason other than he happened to be a Black man walking at night.” Earlier this year, Davis accepted a settlement of $150,000, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

    That settlement also led to a policy change within the Cincinnati Police Department where they must now allow citizens to comply with their orders before firing their tasers.

    “I shouldn’t have had to go through that,” Davis told the Enquirer. “I was just walking home. I’m still scared today because of what they did to me. I don’t want it to happen to anybody else.”

    ‘You’re Going to Shoot Me or Something?’: Cincinnati Cop Pulls Gun On Black Man Filming His Friend’s Arrest, Blocking His View Before Charging Him with Obstruction

    Expand All
    Comments / 0
    Add a Comment
    Most Popular newsMost Popular

    Comments / 0