Body cam recording sheds light on S. Pittsburg city administrator arrest
By Matt Barbour, Weekend Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
SOUTH PITTSBURG, TN (WRCB) -
Channel 3 is now getting a better idea of what happened the night South Pittsburg's city administrator Sammy Burrows was arrested. The arresting officer, Sergeant Paul West, was wearing a body camera the night Burrows was booked. It is the same recording that got West fired by the city commission.
On the night of November 8th, Sammy Burrows stopped to ask a city police officer to go and check on his neighbor's dogs that were being loud. The officer, Ben Canales, said he would. Canales had stopped to help two women get a cat out of the road. Not long after that, Burrows flew past the officer in his SUV going 72 miles an hour in a 35 mile per hour zone. Sergeant Paul West responded as back up to assist with the arrest and that is when his body cam started recording.
"We'll take you down and you're not gonna like it," said West as he placed Burrows in handcuffs.
Paul West has since been fired from the South Pittsburg Police Department. The mayor says his remarks to Burrows are over the top.
"What are you going to do, fire us? Seventy-two miles an hour! Don't you ever mistreat one of my officers, you understand me? Never," West said to Burrows. "I'm not going to listen to nothing you say right now because you haven't let me talk!"
Officer Ben Canales noted in his arrest report that when he pulled Burrows over, he was "nose to nose" with Burrows and "felt intimidated."
"Then he says, 'You need to listen to me. I'm just making sure you're doing your job. you don't need to be sitting down there talking to girls,'" said Canales, relaying what happened to West.
Once in the back of the squad car, West rants to Canales about Burrow's behavior, saying,"He ain't no d*** different than nobody else and by-God I'm tired of this bull**** down here in this town. Telling me, every time we do something, I hear somebody say, 'You know who that was?' Yeah, I know who it is and they can take this job and shove it up their a**** and it's on the camera. He ain't no different than nobody else down here and he ain't gonna sneak around here like the d*** Gestapo at night watching me and my officer."
After a 15 minute ride to jail, West continues his speech to Burrows while he's being booked.
"You disappoint me. Don't ever interfere with me and my officers. And I ain't chewing you out in front of here for...politics don't matter to me. Seventy-two miles an hour?" Burrows answered, "I understand."
West continued to tell a jail employee about his frustration.
"He's not different than nobody else. I don't give a d*** if it's Barack Obama," said West.
In an interview you saw Only on 3, Burrows said he is guilty of speeding but that is all.
"I was pulled over for a routine traffic stop. And I was speeding. And I admitted guilt to speeding. The other charges I will have to say that I'm not guilty of that."
Burrows is charged with reckless driving, speeding, resisting arrest and obstruction of an officers' rights. His court date is January 22nd.
Burrows declined to comment about the release of the video. West referred us to his attorney but we have not been able to make contact with her just yet.
Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:10 AM EDT2014-08-27 09:10:42 GMT
(WRCB) - Good Wednesday. We are really going to crank up the thermostat through the rest of the week. Yesterday we had highs in the upper 80s. Going forward, we will break 90 every afternoon through Saturday.More
(WRCB) - Good Wednesday. We are really going to crank up the thermostat through the rest of the week. Yesterday we had highs in the upper 80s. Going forward, we will break 90 every afternoon through Saturday. More