BLACK VOICES

Woman Arrested After Telling 911 Operator She Felt Threatened By Cop

The Metro Police chief in Houston, Texas, says she found "no wrongdoing" in the arresting officer's actions.
Earledreka White, 28, was arrested while she was calling 911 to report that the cop who pulled her over threatened her.
Earledreka White, 28, was arrested while she was calling 911 to report that the cop who pulled her over threatened her.

A 28-year-old black woman spent two days in a Houston, Texas, jail after she dialed 911 to report that she felt threatened by the Metro officer who pulled her over.

Newly released surveillance footage from the incident, which occurred in March, shows Earledreka White exiting her vehicle after Officer Gentian Luca pulled her over for allegedly crossing a solid line, the Houston Press reported

In the footage, when the officer approaches White with handcuffs, she gets back in her car to grab her phone to dial 911. 

“I got out of the car to ask him what the offense was, he raised his voice at me and threatened to arrest me so I’m really confused,” White tells the operator in the video. “And I would like another officer to come out here. My heart is racing, I’m really afraid.”

Only moments into White’s phone call, Luca appears to attempt to grab her wrist to handcuff her. She struggles with the cop and yells “this is harassment.” White and Luca continue to struggle out of the camera’s frame as the woman cries and repeatedly begs the dispatchers to send another officer.

WARNING: This video contains some material that may be triggering for certain individuals.

What wasn’t revealed in the video, however, is what the officer said to make White feel threatened.

White, who is a social worker, claimed that Luca told her to “get your ass back in the car” or else he would stun her. According to Houston Press, this is why she made the call in the first place. 

“Being pulled over is not the troubling part ― what happened after being pulled over is what baffles me,” White told the Houston Chronicle. “As I tell the dispatcher that this man is threatening to ‘tase’ me, he backs away, then comes back and literally tries to break my arm.”

White was released from jail after posting a $1,000 bail. She is now being charged with resisting arrest. 

Though her attorney, Zack Fertitta, said that getting out of the car wasn’t the best idea, he wants the charges against White dropped

“[Officer Luca’s] training has to have been woefully inadequate,” Fertitta told the Houston Press. “This is a traffic stop that escalated to arrest — for resisting arrest. There was no breach of the peace. She didn’t attack him. There are excellent police officers out there who are complete professionals, but this guy is not one of them.”

The Metro Police, however, stand behind Luca’s decision to arrest White.

“She was uncooperative but he did everything reasonable within the law,” Metro Police Chief Vera Bumpers told The Houston Chronicle. “He explained what was going on, what the violation was and that he was focused on her safety, as well as his.”

While Bumpers explained that Luca could have been “more patient and waited until someone got there who she might have been more comfortable with,” they found “no wrongdoing” after investigating White’s complaint. 

Bumpers explained to the Houston Press that Luca was “acting under the color of law as a police officer.” She said that if citizens feel threatened by an officer, they should ask an officer to call his or her supervisor to send back up.

But with the footage of White’s arrest drawing some comparisons to Sandra Bland’s arrest in Waller County, Texas, in July 2015 which led to her death ― it’s no surprise why White instinctively dialed 911. In addition, a graphic by Now Sourcing shows that black drivers were the least likely to say that police behaved properly during an encounter with them.

White moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to live with family because she was too shaken up from the incident to stay. She’ll return for her next court date on Aug. 30. If charged, White could face up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

HuffPost

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