Tennessee Police Officer Pulls Gun On Woman Changing License Plate
A Tennessee police officer is under investigation for allegedly pulling out his gun on a black woman who was changing a license plate on an SUV she recently purchased.
The incident stems back to April when Tonya Jameson, who resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, saw a Craigslist ad for an SUV in Jefferson City, Tennessee, on April 25. Three days later, Jameson went to the female owner’s home and test-drove the vehicle, with Jameson purchasing the car that same day and receiving the title for it.
On May 3, Jameson returned to Tennessee to pick up the car, driving a one-way rental car to Morristown, Tennessee and then taking an unmarked taxi to the woman’s home in Jefferson City. While unscrewing the original license plate that was on the car and replacing it with a new one, police officer Matthew Janish came up behind her with his gun already trained on her. Janish was off-duty at the time of the incident.
Janish proceeded to report a suspected auto theft to Jefferson County 911 while asking Jameson about the taxi that dropped her off as well as when and from whom she bought the SUV. Jameson tried to convince Janish she was not a thief by talking about the woman who sold her the SUV (that woman happened to be Janish’s mother-in-law) and telling him that she had the vehicle’s registration in her bag, but Janish did not let her move.
Another police officer appeared, which led to Janish putting away his gun. Still, the two officers did not allow Jameson to show them the vehicle’s registration. The 911 call was finally closed when Janish heard from his wife, who said her mother had sold the SUV to Jameson.
Following the incident, Jameson filed a complaint with the Police Department and also called Jefferson County Sheriff Bud McCoig. McCoig reportedly told her that he had spoken to the deputy and said that it was a case of no harm, no foul.
Still, Jameson believes her skin color was a factor in how Janish treated her.
“It wasn’t protecting someone’s life or his own life. It was a truck. It blows my mind,” Jameson said.
Via the Knoxville News Sentinel