Cell phone video footage of a Florida traffic stop is beginning to go viral after the man who recorded his encounter with police pleaded online for assistance because he says law enforcement’s actions forced him to move.
Curtis Shannon has raised $1,745 in three days after creating a crowdfunding site to help “recover” from an incident that occurred outside his St. Petersburg, FL residence last December.
After unsuccessfully attempting to first supply one of the officers with his driver’s license and registration, Shannon began recording his encounter on his cell phone. Footage from the incident shows him appearing to cooperate with law enforcement, but expressing concern over why one cop insists he exits his car.
On YouTube, Shannon wrote that he began recording after he asked why he was being pulled over and the officer responded with “because I want to.”
“Sir, I don’t feel comfortable getting out of the car when I don’t even know why you’re here. Why do you need me to step out of the car? I’m not a criminal and my papers are all legal,” Shannon recalls telling the officer.
“I need to see you,” the officer insists during one part of the clip. “I need you to get out of this car, that’s what I need you to do.”
When Shannon asks why, he’s told: “Because I asked you to.”
Around four minute into the cell phone clip, Shannon heeded the officer’s instructions. The cell phone footage shows that he was immediately roughed up, however, and Shannon says he was treated at a hospital the following day for scrapes and bruises he received during the incident — after he was released from jail.
“I took his word for it (silly me), grabbed my phone (now a camcorder) so I could continue recording from outside the car and openned [sic] the car door,” Shannon wrote on GoFundMe. “I let go of the frame of my car and accepted my fate. I was getting beat up tonight, there’s no denying that. The officer then slammed me onto the ground, making sure that my head made full contact with the curb on the way down.”
According to Shannon, he was originally charged with resisting/obstructing with violence — a felony — although those charges were later reduced to a misdemeanor. He’s hesitant to plead guilty, however, and has finally posted video of the footage in hopes of raising enough money for future lawyer fees.