Former Houston Oilers and Carolina Panthers lineback Lamar Lathon just earned one heck of a Wikipedia entry.
I’m sure supporters of Lathon might point out that the language of the Wikipedia post isn’t upto community standards, but it isn’t grossly incorrect, either.
In case you missed the story the first time around, Lathon made the following claim about the stop.
The Pearland Police Department is investigating a claim by a former Houston Oilers star who says an officer pulled a gun on him during a routine traffic stop.
Pearland PD is talking to the officer involved and checking his dash cam and body camera footage before commenting on the claim.
But to Lamar Lathon, the incident is a sign of our tense times.
“Completely terrified, completely terrified,” said Lathon.
It’s not an emotion Lathon knows well. He’s used to terrorizing others on the football field, as an Oilers Pro-Bowler and University of Houston football star.
But, he says he feared for his life during a late-night traffic stop Monday night at FM 2234 and Almeda in Pearland.
“I reached for my license, which I keep here in my console, and he immediately drew his weapon,” said Lathon.
The console was below Lathon’s seat. The Pearland police officer’s gun, he says, was pointed in his face.
“I was like, ‘Guys, what’s going on, what’s the problem. Have you lost your mind? Why are you pulling a gun on me?’” said Lathon. “I proceeded then to give him my license. He holstered his weapon.”
Lathon is clearly playing to the pro-criminal movement known as “Black Lives Matter” with inflammatory rhetoric suggesting that a police officer pulled a gun and pointed it at his face for merely being a minority male. He stops just short of claiming it was a “hands up, don’t shoot” moment.
But here’s what really happened.
Pearland police released a timeline and dashcam video of a traffic stop of former NFL player Lamar Lathon after his claims that he was mistreated by the officer. Lathon, 47, was pulled over for speeding in the early hours of Tuesday morning at the intersection of Shadow Creek Parkway at Almeda Road. Pearland police said the former Houston Oilers player was talking on his cell phone when the officer approached and asked for his license and registration.
The officer three times told Lathon not to reach under his car seat, but he did, police said. The officer then drew his weapon and again told Lathon not to reach under his seat, according to police. When Lathon brought his hands back into view with his wallet, the officer holstered his weapon, police said. Pearland police said the officer returned to his vehicle.
Once a second officer arrived, the first officer asked Lathon to exit the vehicle. Lathon, according to police, can be heard in the video saying, “With all the stuff that’s happening and I’m a big guy and you’re a little guy.” Lathon got out of the vehicle and the officer told him he was going to search the car for weapons. Lathon objected because the officer pulled a gun on him and he was only reaching for his wallet. The officer searched the car, then gave Lathon a speeding ticket.
Pearland police released a statement that read, “Based on review of the video footage, it is the position of the Pearland Police Department that the response of the officers involved in this traffic stop was professional and within both the law and policies of this agency. The primary officer was tactically aware, maintained control of the scene and attempted to de-escalate a volatile situation brought on by a driver who refused to follow directions and whose primary complaint seemed to be the issuance of a citation.”
Pearlland Police Officers Association is demanding a formal apology from Lathon.
The Pearland Police Officer’s Association, representing 145 Pearland Police Officers, calls on Lamar Lathon to apologize for his inaccurate and inflammatory mischaracterizations of his treatment by the Pearland Police Department during a traffic stop.
Mr. Lathon was stopped on September 1 for driving 65 MPH in a 50 MPH zone. In statements later made to the media, Lathon stated that the officer’s gun was “aimed at this face.” Newly released dash cam video clearly refutes Lathon’s assertions. As a matter of fact, the officer only drew his weapon after Lathon repeatedly refused to follow his instructions to not reach under the driver’s seat.
“It is very disappointing that during these difficult and challenging times, a public figure such as Mr. Lathon would attempt to divide the community and law enforcement.” “This is not a perception issue about what transpired during the traffic stop, it is an outright lie.” said John DeSpain, President of the Pearland Police Officer’s Association.
As a former NFL Pro Bowler, Lathon is looked up to and considered a role model by many in the community. Mr. Lathon needs to take ownership of words and actions, and apologize to the men and women of the Pearland Police Department that fearlessly protect and serve their community in these very dangerous times.
They are certainly due an apology, and Mr. Lathon should be ashamed at his attempt to further inflame minorities against police after the recent rash of murders by pro-criminal supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement.