January 15, 2016 Stone Mountain, Ga. Much discussion has been given regarding Police misconduct and the recording of Police stops, having body cameras and people complaining of Police. But it seems that that when cameras are used and evidence is obtained, the complaints are not always as they are originally stated.A traffic stop recently occurred where Sgt. Stephen Floyd of the Stone Mountain Police Department pulled over a man who is a firefighter in the DeKalb County Fire and Rescue squad. Captain Terrell Davis was stopped for a minor traffic infraction and when he was pulled over Sgt. Floyd had a body camera and camera in his vehicle recording the incident at the time.
Almost immediately Davis asked the Sgt. If his supervisor Dr. Alexander should be notified of the stop. The Sgt. apparently not intimidated by the name dropping just asked the Fire department Captain politely to remain in his vehicle and informed him that there was no need to contact the Doctor. The Sgt. returned to his vehicle and processed the summons for the traffic infraction as he normally would for anyone else.
During the stop a woman came out who was also a member of the DeKalb County Fire and Rescue Squad named Krystal Cathcart. She walks to the vehicle that is stopped (which is unsafe for the officer not knowing who she is or her intentions) and then lingers around the scene and begins to question him regarding the incident as if she has some authority over the situation. She then also asks if she should contact Dr. Alexander.
Again, the Sgt. asks her “for what?” and asks her to remove herself from the scene and she actually tells him that she can be anywhere she likes. For the first time the Sgt. asserts himself and tells Cathcart that she can not be near his patrol car and that she can back up or she will be seated in the back of his patrol car.
She steps away from view and then allows the officer to continue with his duty.
Naturally Cathcart files a complaint with the Sgt.’s Department that he created a hostile environment, threatened her and swore at her. Her complaint is verified by the violator the Captain of the Fire Department who stated that he witnessed the incident.
The matter is reviewed by the Stone Mountain Internal affairs review board. Both camera feeds are reviewed and found that they show nothing like what Cathcart has claimed in her written statement. She is shown now that there are two cameras that refute her written statement and she writes a retraction.
The Sgt. Who was accused of being Belligerent, unprofessional and disrespectful was none of these things. He was accused of creating an atmosphere of fear was also apparently not true.
The questions that remain now are what will happen to the two firefighters who attempted to tarnish the Sgt.’s record and malign his reputation with false allegations simply because they could not intimidate him using Dr. Alexander’s name?
According to Fox5Atlanta the conversation went like this:
Krystal Cathcart: “Hi Officer, is there a problem?”
Sgt. Floyd: “How you doing?”
Krystal Cathcart arrived, and just like Captain Davis, she threw out the name of her top commander, Dr. Alexander. She then said she worked with Cpt. Davis and wanted to see what was going on.
Sgt. Floyd asked her to step away from the scene.
Sgt. Floyd: “You can wait over there.”
Krystal Cathcart: “Why.”
Sgt. Floyd: “Because I asked you to. This traffic stop had nothing to do.”
Krystal Cathcart: “I can stand right here.”
Sgt. Floyd: “No you cannot stand right there, and it’s the last time I’m going to ask you or I’m going to put you in the back of my car.”
Krystal Cathcart: “We’ll call Dr. Alexander.”
Sgt. Floyd: “That’s right, call Dr. Alexander, thank you very much.”
Body cameras tend to be a very good thing. If this Officer did not have one, most certainly the outcome would have been quite different.