Tampa woman questions why officer drew his weapon during a traffic stop

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – Joneshia Wilkerson says she was terrified.

Just before 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 18 a Tampa Police Officer pulled her over and immediately drew his weapon.

“I just felt the way that he handled it was completely horrific to me, like especially being a woman with PTSD, I have anxiety and depression. I take medication for that. I have trouble sleeping,” said Wilkerson.

She started recording the incident with her cell phone.

The Tampa police officer was also recording the incident with a department-issued body camera.
Monday, police released the video to counter a story posted on social media by Wilkerson.

Wilkerson tells 8 On Your Side she borrowed the car from a friend and didn’t know it had been reported as stolen. She believes the officer had no reason to point his gun at her.

“I just felt like it was completely unreasonable how he handled the situation,” Wilkerson said.

“These are the difficult times that are going on right now. People are taking their own version of the facts, condensing it to their story or whatever their narrative is and it’s not helping things in the current climate that we are in,” said Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan.

In the video posted by police, you can hear the officer tell Wilkerson the car had been reported as stolen and telling her to stay where she was.

“I ran the tag, it says it’s stolen. Just don’t move,” said the unidentified officer.

Tampa Police Chief Dugan says the officer followed procedure.

“The entire time the officer remained calm, followed protocol, keeping the occupants informed of what was expected. The officer put the gun in the position we call low ready, where it’s not pointed directly at the person but it’s already out and can be easily raised if they have to defend themselves or take action,” said Dugan.

When other officers arrived they placed Wilkerson in handcuffs until everything was sorted out.

After our investigation of that afternoon, the woman who posted the video was not even arrested.

It turns out this was a rental car and the person who rented it was overdue turning it in and the rental car company reported it as stolen. No charges were filed.

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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