Cleveland Hts. PD supports officer's decision to draw gun during traffic stop

Cleveland Hts. PD supports officer's decision to draw gun during traffic stop

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - After a man goes to the media about his experience with a

, the city responds with their stance on the incident.

The incident, which occurred on December 12, involved the driver, Sam Taylor, being stopped by Officer William Robinson.

"Given the interest generated by an article which cites Mr. Taylor's account of the incident, the City felt it was important to share the facts involved to assure Cleveland Heights residents of the appropriateness of Officer Robinson's actions given the circumstances surrounding the traffic stop", said City Manager Tanisha Briley. "The incident was reviewed, including review of recorded radio and telephone traffic, and the evidence supports Officer Robinson's response".

According to the police department, shortly after 7:30 a.m. Taylor was seen speeding near Clarkson and Coventry Roads.

When Officer Williams turned on his lights and siren, attempting to pull Taylor over, he continued to drive for about a mile, heading north on Coventry and then west on Edgehill.

The city says at 7:36 a.m., Officer Robinson can be heard over the radio alerting the station of his pursuit in light of the driver's failure to stop.

When Taylor brought the vehicle to a rest, he immediately got out of the car and went toward Officer Robinson in an agitated manner.

Officer Robinson got out of his cruiser with his gun drawn and asked Taylor to show his hands which were not visible as he approached.

Once Taylor complied, Officer Robinson holstered his gun, which he had in hand during the exchange of words that lasted only seconds.

As Officer Robinson checked Taylor for weapons the driver explained his wife was having a medical emergency.

At 7:38 a.m., two minutes after his initial call to the station during the pursuit, Officer Robinson was heard radioing an ambulance for Taylor's wife.

Officer Williams then asked Taylor to sit in his car.

At 7:40 a. m., Officer Robinson was heard canceling the ambulance, at the request of Taylor's wife.

At the same time, Taylor called the police station to express his concern about the traffic stop.

The recording confirms that Taylor was advised by the Officer in Charge that he should have stopped and because he refused to do so he would be receiving a citation.

The entire incident from pursuit, to calling the ambulance, to Taylor calling the station, and the last officer clearing the scene lasted a total of 14 minutes. Taylor was given two citations, one for speeding and another for failing to yield.

"Officer Robinson's actions were appropriate considering the facts that Mr. Taylor did not pull over, continued to drive for almost a mile, exited his vehicle and came toward the officer during the traffic stop", said Chief Jeffery Robertson. "Within a span of two minutes, the officer was able to assess a situation which had quickly turned from pursuit of a driver failing to stop to a medical emergency and he responded correctly."

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