WESTLAKE, Ohio (WOIO) - The Westlake Police Department released dashcam video on Wednesday showing the traffic stop of Cleveland Browns stars Rashard Higgins and Jedrick Wills, who are accused of drag racing.
The video, recorded around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, starts with the view from an officer’s vehicle as he sat in a parking lot near Crocker Road and Center Ridge Road.
The SUVs driven by Higgins and Wills respectively are seen briefly passing by as the officer begins following them.
Once he caught up, the two men pulled over.
“You can’t be driving like that,” an officer told Wills, who was mostly silent during the traffic stop.
As officers began speaking with Higgins, they noticed a smell of marijuana coming from his vehicle.
“You have weed in the car?” An officer asked, to which Higgins replied, “No sir.”
“Why does it smell like it then?” The officer pressed.
“I smoked yesterday,” Higgins replied.
They then searched the vehicle and Higgins himself. Police found what appeared to be a joint, which Higgins said he didn’t know he had.
“I won’t jam you up for your joint because that would be pretty bad for press,” the officer told him, explaining he would only issue the citation for drag racing. “You’re better than that. You guys are celebrities around here. You don’t want that hitting the news.”
The officer had Higgins crush the joint with his foot and kick it into a sewer opening.
On Wednesday, the public information officer for the Westlake Police Department told 19 News the men were treated like anyone else and elaborated on why there were no drug-related charges.
“It’s a very small amount. Even if we did send it to a lab and pay to get it analyzed to see what the THC level is, the charge is still a minor misdemeanor which is less than our regular traffic ticket,” said Captain Jerry Vogel.
“We’ve addressed it. I’ve addressed it with the team and I’ll leave it at that,” said Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski.
Both players took to Twitter after the incident.
“So nobody has ever tried to beat someone off the line at a red light for a max 30 meters? Ight.. Blowing it way out of proportion. [I know] y’all road ragers have,” Wills tweeted.
In now deleted posts, Higgins said that his foot slipped and that he was trying to get away from COVID.
Both men were issued $124 citations with arraignments scheduled for January 19th in Rocky River Municipal Court.
Their lawyers have already filed letters stating the two will plead not guilty.