Cell Phone Records Officer Telling Driver He Was Pulled Over For Making ‘Direct Eye Contact’
John Felton said a Dayton officer followed him for two miles before he was pulled over back on August 15.
The 25-year-old decided to capture the stop on video. When the officer approached his driver side window this is what he recorded:
Felton: I'm not doing nothing because I have a Michigan plate other than that why you trailing me?
Officer: Because you made direct eye contact with me and held on to as I was passing you.
That exchange is what brought Felton to Columbus to seek legal advice.
His attorney said Felton's cell phone recording shows the officer violated his client’s civil rights.
“The reason they stopped him was unconscionable…the officer admitted that the only reason he stopped him is because he looked him in the eye,” attorney Byron Potts said.
Felton, who is from Detroit, said he was visiting family in the area when the officer told him he was being pulled over for not signaling 100 feet before a turn.
“It's very, very rarely enforced,” Potts said.
Felton said he told the officer he was recording and he documented the stop to prove a point.
“I was scared because we've see so many people get pulled over by the cops and it leads to something tragic,” Felton said.
Dayton police have not identified the officer, but responded on its website saying: "…making direct eye contact with an officer is not a basis for a traffic stop." Police say they continue to investigate.
“What I would demand is that they get some sensitivity training, some cultural sensitivity training; that's what they need to do,” Felton said.
Felton's video captures the final exchange between him and the officer. He attempts to get the officer to explain the traffic stop.
Felton: I didn't even see you until you were behind me.
Officer: I don't want to argue any more sir if you want to keep talking I'll just take your license back and give you a citation for the violation and you can take it to court. I'm not going to argue about it anymore. Alright?
Felton: Ok, sir.
Felton's attorney said he plans to file a complaint with internal affairs.
Because the officer never gave Felton a ticket, Felton doesn't have the name of the officer, but his attorney said he plans to file a public records request to get the name.
10TV checked court records in Dayton and found Felton only has a minor misdemeanor in 2013.