NORMAN, Okla. – A Norman man is accusing an off-duty Blanchard police officer of abusing his power after the two men got into a traffic accident last week.
Kevin Richardson said the officer, Joshua Shaw, caused the wreck by swerving his Ford Mustang into Richardson’s Dodge Ram pickup truck near Lindsay and Jenkins, Wednesday afternoon.
Richardson’s girlfriend began taking a video of the aftermath, which was posted on YouTube.
In it, the exchange became heated.
“‘Let me see your insurance,” Richardson can be heard saying.
“You’re not seeing nothing,” Shaw replied.
Shaw then said “I advise you, back off.”
“What are you going to do?” Richardson responded.
At that point in the video, Shaw can be seen grabbing a handgun and saying “I’m a police officer. I advise you to back off and get out of my face.”
“He’s a cop, but he’s a hothead,” Richardson said Sunday. “He’s overreacting in a situation as simple as a traffic accident. What’s he going to do in a real high-stress situation? I don’t think he should be carrying a gun.”
Blanchard Police Chief Walt Thompson told News Channel 4 he did not want to speak on camera until he looked at the video with Officer Shaw.
On the phone, Thompson said Shaw did not break any police code or state law and said Shaw believed he was being threatened and was trying to defuse the situation.
Norman Police Captain Tom Easley said Shaw was not arrested at the time of the incident because he did not point his gun at Richardson.
“He didn’t bring it (the gun) up above the window and point it at anybody,” Easley said. “He kept it down in his lap. It was not pointed at anyone. Now we can all second guess that decision, but was it a crime? That’s the question. The answer is no.”
“But he didn’t show a badge,” Attorney Garvin Isaacs said after watching the video. “He didn’t show an I.D.”
Isaacs said an “assault” is committed when one person feels they’re in danger; contact (“battery”) does not have to happen.
But Isaacs said the video shows both men getting upset.
“These two guys need to grow up,” he said. “They need to have a little better emotional control.”
Richardson admitted he’s had trouble with police before.
In 2008, he plead guilty to assault and battery on a police officer.
As of Monday evening, the Cleveland County District Attorney’s office said they had received no information on the incident from police.