Providing further proof that compliance with police does not always matter, an innocent black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma was arrested on Sept. 30, 2017 for putting his hands in the air and being too compliant with deputies during his arrest for DUI. The real estate investor insisted he was innocent before being arrested, and his blood test proved he was.
Speaking with Tulsa World, Adam James described the encounter with Tulsa Deputies David Allen and Randy Schaefer as a “surreal’ experience after they confronted him in a parking lot just after midnight, and accused him of being on drugs.
Because his blood test proved he was innocent, prosecutors ended up dropping the charges against him.
James said the dismissal of the senseless arrest left him, “feeling not an equal. That I was not a citizen. That I don’t matter.”
According to the police report, the deputies were suspicious of James because he nervously put his hands in the air, in site of the officers.
“Adam James had difficulty following simple instruction (sic) without them being repeated multiple times and continuously raised his hands in the air,” wrote deputy Allen.
James kept his hands in the air because he feared being shot by police. He said the deputies were also suspicious of him because he was “over-obeying.” Which was ultimately why he was arrested and taken to the hospital for a blood test.
“So no matter what I did in there, I was going to lose,” James explained.
Sheriff Vic Regalado said there is no evidence of racial profiling, and also suggested James could have been DUI with something not detected by the blood test.
“That is not uncommon for that to happen,” Regalado said of James’ negative blood test results. “And the reason why is when it does happen, it could be a variety of different things. It could include those tests only test for certain intoxicants; it doesn’t test for synthetic drugs, inhalants and things like that.”
“Not just African Americans get nervous on stops,” Regalado added. “And can that affect to a certain extent (field sobriety tests)? Absolutely. Can mental illness do it? Absolutely. Can other factors, … being under the influence of intoxicants, inhalants, synthetic drugs? … All those things taken into effect can absolutely.”
According to Lewis, he was able to fight the charges and get his record expunged because he could afford it, saying he has spent somewhere near to $10,000 to fight it.
“I was there; I got out because I had the means,” he said. “What if I didn’t?”