Helena-West Helena Police are looking into the body camera footage after a Black man accused one of their officers of unnecessarily pulling a gun on him Sunday morning.
On the video, the officer could be heard shouting to fellow officers “He’s got a gun!” even as one of Truitt’s hands held his phone, and his other hand was in view of the video.
“Where!?” Truitt questioned, before refusing to take any further movement out of fear of his life.
According to WREG, the incident started at around 3 a.m. at a closed Double Quick store, where Truitt had parked to meet up with family before planning to go home.
“As we were leaving out, a car jumped in front of me, so I hit my brakes to let them go by,” Truitt explained.
As they were trying to leave, police officers rolled up, telling everyone to clear the parking lot. However, Truitt said he was blocked in and couldn’t move, drawing the attention of officers.
“I started rolling because he jumped out with his gun,” Truitt said.
The video begins with the tense moments when the officer accuses Truitt of having a gun, and Truitt protesting.
“Shut the car off!” the officer then orders.
“My hands are in the air,” Truitt could be heard saying. “I ain’t moving my hands. He trying to shoot me.”
“Played it safe,” Truitt told WREG. “He was like, ‘That’s a failure to comply,’ but if I would have complied, I would have got killed.”
Even following the accusations, the officer tried to assure Truitt that he wouldn’t shoot him, pointing out his body camera, but Truitt continued to refuse, saying that the officer could turn off the car if he wanted to.
Truitt kept his hands visible to officers during the entire encounter until his phone is dropped as he is apparently pulled from his car.
Officers say that they did find a gun in the back of the vehicle, but Truitt never denied having one with him, pointing out that the gun wasn’t within his reach.
He told WREG that he doesn’t regret his refusal to move at the moment.
“What I did saved my life,” he said. “That’s why I’m here talking to y’all. If not, y’all would be covering a story about how I got shot.”
Truitt is facing charges of loitering and disregarding an official order.
The officer, according to WREG has been getting threats and was off duty on Sunday.
Helena-West Helena police said that they will be reviewing the camera footage and getting statements from officers involved to figure out what really happened and if any policy violations occurred.