Devin James, an author of a book about Ferguson 2014 riots, was acquitted Friday, June 6, for allegedly hitting a patrol officer last August.
James and his fiancée, Alicia Campbell, were stopped by a Nebraska State Patrol officer, Kyle Gress, on August 27, 2015 for speeding. Though both of them claim they were stopped for “driving while black.”
Officer Gress claimed that James and Campbell hit him on the arm when he tried to open the car. Gress reported that he was injured while James held him and while trying to get free, he broke the car window.
Gress asked Campbell, who was driving, to get out of the car, but James kept on asking why they were stopped. They argued about why Campbell needed to get out of the car, if she wasn’t under arrest. Gress mentioned that he needed to follow protocols.
James and Campbell were charged with assault of a patrol officer. They were both found not guilty, Campbell however was found guilty of not complying to lawful order.
James was grateful to those who helped him through the case. “I want to thank God, my family and all the people who supported me through this extremely traumatic and exhaustive experience. I also want to thank the members of the jury for their service,” he said in a statement.
James and Campbell were lucky to call for help in time; they called 911, as the intentions of the officer were not very clear. They had a baby in the car and didn’t want to risk. The situation could have ended in violence, which often happens in case of disagreements between black people and police.
It was also very clever of James to record the incident on video so that he could provide proof of his words. There were many points in the officer Gress’ testimony, which seemed just to target the black couple and not tell the real course of events.
We congratulate Mr. James and Ms. Campbell on the acquittal of unjust charges and hope they will serve a good example of non-violent behavior towards a biased officer.
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