FEATURED PHOTO: (L-R) MERAK BURR AND CASEY GOODSON JR.
- An armed man in Ohio threatened to shoot police during a traffic stop on a highway, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
- Footage of the incident was published online by The Genoa Township Police Department and shows a 3-minute confrontation between 25-year-old Merak Burr, who was identified by the Columbus Dispatch.
- According to local reports, Burr was initially stopped by a State Highway Patrol trooper for speeding and had a firearm in his vehicle.
- The confrontation sparked reactions on social media as people compared it to another recent incident in Columbus, Ohio where a 23-year-old Black man was fatally shot by law enforcement.
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Body camera footage released by police in Ohio shows an armed man who failed to comply with police, threatened to shoot them, and fled the scene as they asked him to get out of his vehicle during a traffic stop. The incident was compared to experiences Black Americans have had with law enforcement.
Merak Burr, 25, had been pulled over by a State Highway Patrol trooper in Delaware County, Ohio for speeding on a highway. Burr also had a firearm in his vehicle, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Genoa Township Police Department Chief Steve Gammill released the footage on Facebook showing an “uncooperative” man failing to comply with the officers.
“Put your hands on the steering wheel,” Police Officer Mike Sigman of the Genoa Township Police Department told Burr while approaching the vehicle.
Burr immediately responded, “No.”
The confrontation grew heated as officers ordered him to step out of his vehicle, but Burr refused to follow their commands, repeatedly yelling to the officer, “Do you have a body cam, sir?”
At one point, the video shows Sigman warning Burr that he would release his K9 and Burr threatened to shoot the officers on scene who then began pointing their weapons at Burr.
“Don’t you dare,” Officer Sigman responded.
Burr can be heard in the video telling the officers that the firearm is “constitutionally owned” and “that it’s not concealed.” He eventually shuts his car door fleeing the officers at the scene. Following a pursuit, Burr was later taken into police custody and charged, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Throughout the video, Officer Sigman was calmly commanding Burr to follow orders. “We’ll get this figured out,” Officer Sigman said in the video.
“As you can see from the video the Trooper and Officer Sigman were engaged in a very tense situation that could have turned out tragically and both of them acted with great restraint and professionalism,” Chief Gammill said in the Facebook post.
The Genoa Township Police Department did not yet respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The incident sparked reactions on social media as questions were raised as to why Black Americans who died after confrontations with law enforcement weren’t given the same grace as Burr.
Some pointed to a non-related incident that also occurred in Ohio two days later when a Black man, who authorities said had been “waving a gun” while in his vehicle, was fatally shot by a sheriff deputy, as WSYX reported. The man was identified as 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. and his mother told the news station that he had a license to carry the firearm and was shot three times in the back in Columbus, Ohio. US Marshal Pete Tobin of the Southern District of Ohio told WSYX that the “shooting was justified,” but that the case is currently under investigation.
“This is Casey Goodson, a 23yo Black man from Ohio. On 12/4, an @OHFCSO deputy mistook Casey for a fugitive & fatally shot him 3x in the BACK,” Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney who has represented those affected by police brutality like Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Jacob Blake tweeted on Sunday.
“He was walking into his own home with a sandwich, NOT a gun,” Crump added. “This shoot 1st, ask Qs later mentality MUST END! We demand #JusticeForCasey!!”
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