Edrick Truitt was parked at a convenience store waiting to meet up with his family before going back to his home in Jonesboro, Arkansas when police officers from the Helena-West Helena Police Department came to clear the lot.
As the man was leaving the parking lot, he was reportedly blocked in by another car. It was at that moment when a police officer approached Truitt and pointed a gun at him. Fearing for his life, Truitt immediately started streaming the encounter on Facebook Live.
“As we get to leaving out, a car jumped in front of me so I hit my brakes to let them go by,” Truitt told WREG. By that time, he claims his car was blocked in and he couldn’t move it becoming the center of attention and from that point on, things just kept escalating.
Truitt said he started filming with his cell phone just in case. “I started rolling because he jumped out with his gun.” According to him, even though the officer made demands, Truitt didn’t want to make a single move. “Played it safe.”
“He was like, ‘That’s a failure to comply,’ but if I would have complied, I would have got killed.”
In the video, the officer can be heard telling Truitt to turn off the car and that he won’t shoot. The officer even said his body camera was on and rolling the whole time. But Truitt said he didn’t believe the officer so he didn’t turn the car off. Also, he wanted to have his own proof of the whole ordeal.
Police said they found a gun in the back of Truitt’s car which he never denied having with him. When WREG asked Truitt if he thought the cop was afraid of him having a gun, he said, “Yeah, probably so.” But the man added that the gun wasn’t within his reach and the officers had nothing to worry about.
“What I did saved my life,” Truitt added. “That’s why I’m here talking to ya’ll. If not, ya’ll would probably be covering a story about how I got shot.” In the end, he was arrested for loitering and disregarding an official order.
The officer is now getting threats and was off duty in the days following the incident. The police, meanwhile, are checking body cameras and getting statements from other officers who were involved in the incident to determine if any rules were broken.