On March 26, 2016, four Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers pulled over a car that was believed to be linked to multiple larcenies.
Sitting in the passenger’s seat was a man named James Yarborough, who took off running after the car had pulled over.
Police gave chase and caught him with one officer pressing a gun to Yarborough’s head.
“I will kill you, you understand? Give me your hand, now!” Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Jon Dunham can be heard saying 24 seconds into the body cam video posted above.
Dunham puts his gun away and tasers Yarborough. The cop later claimed he had to put a gun to Yarborough’s head because he was reaching for his waistband, but the videos does not support that claim.
Charges of resisting a public officer, assault on an officer inflicting serious injury and felony felon in possession of a firearm were later dropped against Yarborough.
According to Charlotte Observer, Yarborough’s case moved this week into federal court stating that the officer assaulted him while violating his Constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure and submitting false information in his report.
Dunham’s police report states that Dunham’s saw Yarborough reach for his waistband in what appeared to be reaching for a gun but the body camera footage shows that his hands were in front of him. The report also states that Dunham punched Yarborough 6 times.
Yarborough said he ended up in the man’s car after his truck had run out of gas and he made his way to a gas station to buy gas where he ran into a man he knew from jail, who offered him a ride to his stranded car.
Yarborough said the man offered to sell him a gun as he was driving, so when the cops pulled them over, he ran because he did not want to be linked to the gun considering he already had multiple federal convictions for illegally possessing firearms.
CMPD Major Stella Patterson, an internal affairs officer, found no wrongdoing on any of the officers involved actions.
However, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Kerr Putney stated the officers actions while putting the gun to his head and threatening to kill were “indefensible” but also said the cop’s actions were legally justified.
For the first time in 20 years, the citizens review board, rules against how the officers involved reacted.
Dunham resigned a month after the incident and is currently with the Davidson Police Department in North Carolina where he was recently promoted to corporal.