29 Aug 2015

Dayton Police Officer Pulls Over Black Man for Making Eye Contact

 John Felton says he had it just arrived in Dayton with his brother for a birthday party and was driving down Salem Avenue.

"My brother had his seat belt on and everything and I was like, 'This cop is following me, I don't know why he's following me I'm going to make sure I don't do anything to make him pull me over.'" Felton told ABC 22/FOX 45 Reporter Natasha Williams.

Felton says he was eventually stopped and initially told by the officer he had committed a minor traffic violation. Felton decided to videotape the incident.

"Your turn signal, your turn signal was on but you didn't turn it on 100 feet prior," the Dayton officer is heard saying on the video Felton recorded on his cellphone.

Felton says, "Didn't I say he was going to do this? I watched you behind me the whole time, that's why I got my video camera on, too."

Felton, a college graduate who now lives and works in Michigan began questioning the officer further about the traffic stop.

"I am doing nothing, because I have Michigan plates, other than that why are you trailing me," Felton asked the officer. 

"You made direct eye contact with me and held onto it when I was passing you," the officer responded.

Felton: What! I didn't even see you." 

Officer: "I am not going to argue with you, sir. I'll just scan your license and give you a citation for the violation and you could take it to court."

Felton said he was surprised the officer admitted the reason he was pulled over, but he says he knew from the beginning what it was all about.

"I got a nice car. I don't know if he seen I was a black male. I feel like I was targeted, the Michigan car and it was about 11 o'clock at night," Felton said.

Felton said the incident points out the real issues that exist even in the 21st century. 

"I am not your stereotypical black male that a lot of people have in mind. For me it's awareness that this stuff still happens in 2015," he said. 

We reach out to Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl but he did not get back with us. Dayton police did comment on their Twitter page, saying they were reviewing the videotape of the incident. And Felton tells me that a sergeant from the Dayton Police Department contacted him by email Thursday, August 27, to get his side of the story.

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