Ark. officer under investigation after arrest video surfaces online
HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. (WMC) - A Helena-West Helena police officer is now off the job, pending an investigation and his chief is talking about the case with state police.
This comes after a video surfaced, showing the officer pointing a gun at a man over Memorial Day weekend.
The Helena-West Helena police chief said he released the officer's body camera footage to give perspective.
However, WMC Action News 5 learned the officer on leave has been disciplined before in the three years he's been with the department.
Newly released body camera footage from the perspective of the Helena-West Helena police officer now on administrative leave.
The video shows the officer Terry Daughtery approach a black car and ask the man inside for his license, registration and proof of insurance several times.
Instead, the man takes his phone out and starts recording.
Moments later, Daughtery drew his gun.
It all happened early Sunday morning.
Chief James Smith said his officers spotted three cars parked at a gas station on Oakland Avenue, which he says was closed.
Officers, including Daughtery, pulled in and told those loitering they had to leave.
Because the gas station has been burglarized before, the chief says his officers were suspicious when they saw the cars parked there around 1:45 a.m.
A video from the perspective of Edrick Truitt first surfaced on Facebook.
Chief James says Truitt was told to leave the gas station. He pulled out but then went back.
Officer Daughtery got out of his squad car and approached Truitt, that's when the chief says his officer spotted a gun inside Truitt's car.
Daughtery later pulled Truitt out of the car.
Body camera footage shows an officer later retrieve an assault rifle the chief says was found inside Truitt's car.
He was charged with Carrying a Weapon, Loitering, Resisting Arrest and Failure to comply to a lawful order.
The chief says he's spoken to Arkansas State Police. He expects more administrative action to be taken against other officers involved.
We reached out to ASP. A spokesperson said no formal request for a criminal investigation has been received.
They said they've spoken to the chief and told him to contact the prosecuting attorney if he has any reason to believe a criminal violation occurred.
Our attempts to reach Truitt have not been returned.
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