Somerville, Tenn. – A Tennessee man whose violent arrest for alleged traffic violations is being investigated by state police said Monday that he was stopped because he was a young black man driving a nice car.
Brandon Calloway and some members of his family spoke to an Associated Press reporter outside a courthouse in Fayette County, where he was to appear before a judge on charges filed against him in July. The hearing was rescheduled for November 28.
Calloway, 26, was arrested by Oakland Police and charged with disobeying a stop sign, speeding, disorderly conduct and evading arrest. Video footage of the confrontation leading up to the arrest, which spread on social media, shows officers chasing her through her home, attempting to stun her, and giving her a bloody thrashing before dragging her away.
A police officer has been placed on paid leave while the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the arrest. Once the TBI investigation is complete, the state police agency will report to the district attorney, who will decide whether to pursue charges against the officers. The Oakland Police Department did not return a phone call seeking comment on Monday.
According to a police affidavit, Calloway walked through a stop sign about 7:30 p.m. on July 16. He was then seen gusting into the 20 mph zone before 32 mph before an officer attempted to stop traffic. The affidavit said Calloway continued to drive until he reached a house, where he broke into the driveway and ran inside.
Later, Calloway and others were talking to the first officer when a second officer arrived, the affidavit said. Officers said they needed to take Calloway into custody, and he ran back inside the house. Officers kicked down the front door and chased Calloway, where he fled to a room and locked the door. The affidavit states that the officers kicked the door, used a stun gun on him and started hitting him with batons.
The collision took place in Oakland, a small town about 30 miles east of Memphis. Calloway, who runs a notary public business, said the beatings resulted in stitches on his head, speech problems and memory loss. He insists that if he were white he would not have been stopped in the 2020 Chevrolet Camaro.
“I just stopped in a nice car and my dad lives in a nice neighborhood,” Calloway said. “That was the only crime out there.”
Calloway’s father, Ed Calloway, agreed, commenting that the situation “reveals issues that we still have with the relationship between police and young African-American men, and that it’s important to be caught in this situation.” There’s an easy fear.”
Ed Calloway said, “If he were white, no, he would never have drawn.”
Ed Calloway also said that the police entered his house illegally.
“It was my house, this was my door they kicked,” he said, adding that his daughter was traumatized when she “saw her brother’s blood on the floor, on the walls, all over the house.”
Brandon Calloway said he would like to see the consequences for the officers involved in his arrest. He said he is recovering from his injuries and is undergoing treatment, but he has “really bad anxiety” when he sees a police officer.
His lawyer, Andre Wharton, said he is seeking transparency and accountability from the TBI investigation to be closed after a “disproportionate response” by Calloway police.
“Closure comes when people realize that a system is supposed to work as it should – that it was open and honest and accountable,” Wharton said.