The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department recently petitioned the courts to release the attached body-worn camera footage involving a former CMPD officer use of force incident. CMPD officers are equipped with body-worn cameras to promote transparency in accordance with state law. The technology is intended to further accountability for officers and the community through objective evidence.
The event occurred on March 26, 2016, involving former CMPD Officer Jon Dunham and the suspect, James Yarborough.
During the incident, Officer Dunham engaged in a foot pursuit with James Yarborough, a suspect who was detained during a felony car stop before running from officers. Officer Dunham and other officers pursued the suspect on foot for more than three minutes before they subsequently caught up with him.
Officer Dunham and other officers attempted to arrest the suspect who was resisting and refused officers repeated 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. A gun was also located in the passenger area of where Mr. Yarborough was seated during the car stop. He was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and resisting arrest. Both of those charges were later dismissed.
An internal investigation concluded that due to the totality of the events, Officer Dunham’s use of force did not violate state law and the legal standard. It was recommended however that Officer Dunham should receive additional verbal communication and tactical training following the incident. Prior to adjudication of the case, Jon Dunham resigned from the CMPD.
CMPD Police Chief Kerr Putney: “Anytime an officer has to engage in a use of force situation the optics are always unpleasant. We as a department hold ourselves to a high standard and believe the level of force was legally justified. I cannot defend the language, nor can I defend all of the tactics employed by one of the officers. We as an organization strive to be as restrained as possible by applying the minimal force necessary to arrest a person who is resisting.”
Warning: Strong viewer discretion is recommended due to the graphic nature and language contained in the video.