“I will kill you, you understand? Give me your hand, now!” says Officer Jon Dunham of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department after a high-speed foot chase on March 26, 2016; he was investigating a theft. He was heard in the body cam video threatening James Yarborough after he ran from a car during a traffic stop. Police chased the North Carolina man, wrestled him to the ground and were seen repeatedly punching, elbowing and hitting him in the head, back and neck. A Taser was used on the man before Dunham drew the gun on him.
“The only thing I did wrong that day was run. That is the only thing I did wrong that day. I regret running,” Yarbrough tells the media. “That moment felt like — it felt like it might have been my last day.”
Yarbrough previously served 16 years Federal time for illegal firearm possession and didn’t want to be associated with the weapon in the car.
Dunham punched Yarborough in the face six times and claims he was concerned the suspect would pull a gun on him. Following a police investigation, Dunham was cleared of any wrongdoing. CMPD Major Stella Patterson says the use of force was “reasonable.”
CMPD told Channel 9 in a statement there was no wrongdoing:
“Officer Dunham and other officers attempted to arrest the suspect who was resisting and refused officers commands to comply and show them both of his hands to ensure that he did not have a gun.
“Officer Dunham subsequently drew his service weapon and pointed it at the suspect in order to gain compliance and place him under arrest.
“After nearly a four-minute struggle, the officers were able to take Mr. Yarborough into custody.
“An internal investigation concluded that due to the totality of the events, Officer Dunham’s use of force did not violate department policies and or directives.
“It was recommended that Officer Dunham receive additional verbal communication training following the incident. Prior to adjudication, Officer Dunham resigned from the CMPD.”