Felony Charges Dropped After Traffic Stop Goes Viral

Student who waited to pull over in well-lit area was accused of fleeing
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2015 7:13 PM CDT
Felony Charges Dropped After Traffic Stop Goes Viral
Screen shot from a YouTube video.   (YouTube)

Some national attention may have helped the case of a Detroit motorist who faced felony charges over an apparent misunderstanding during a traffic stop. Charges of fleeing an officer were dropped today against 24-year-old DaJuawn Wallace after his predicament began gaining widespread coverage, reports the Detroit Free Press. Back in February, a campus officer at Saginaw Valley State University turned on his lights to make Wallace pull over, and Wallace drove about another mile and a half so he could do so in a well-lit parking lot. "I live in Detroit, and I know some people who were robbed by fake police officers," he tells MLive. "I was taught to find a well-lit area to pull over in." He didn't speed up as he drove to a Sam's Club parking lot, and he says he rolled down his windows to signal to the officer that he intended to pull over.

The officer saw things differently, however. "The driver made no attempt to pull over and stop," he wrote. "I observed the driver stick his hands out of the window a couple of times. I did not see the driver throw anything from the vehicle, though it was dark and the road was poorly lit." The officer pulled Wallace over because he thought, incorrectly, that his car was the one spotted driving on a campus sidewalk. Wallace, who had been out getting medicine for his girlfriend, is studying for his master's degree at SVSU, and the school president said today that "we will try to use this as an opportunity to learn and better serve our students and the entire SVSU community." He plans to meet with Wallace personally. (Read more Detroit stories.)

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