CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte woman says she's disappointed, but not surprised, after an off-duty police officer in Tennessee was reportedly cleared after she says he pulled a gun on her.
Tonya Jameson, a former Charlotte Observer columnist, initially posted about her encounter with the officer on Facebook after it initially happened in early May.
Jameson says she bought a used car from a woman in Knoxville in late April. She returned home to Charlotte to take care of the paperwork and returned to Tennessee on May 3. she said that return trip nearly resulted in her being killed.
"I rented a one-way rental from Charlotte, NC to Morristown, TN, and took an unmarked taxi to the woman's house on May 3," Jameson wrote in a blog about the incident. "I talked to her the day before and told her that I would be coming to pick it up and she could remove her license plate because I had NC plates. The car was parked in the same spot in her driveway as it was the previous week when I purchased it from her."
She said she was screwing in her North Carolina license tag when she heard "Hands up, I'm an off-duty officer."
Jameson says the man, who is the seller's son-in-law and a Knoxville police officer, had a gun pointed at her. She explained that she had purchased the vehicle and offered to show him the bill of sale and the registration, which were in her bag, and said the keys were in her pocket.
According to Jameson, the officer told her to put down the screwdriver she was holding and then he called 911 to report a suspected auto theft. It wasn't until after the 911 call that he holstered the gun and allowed her to put her hands down, Jameson recalls.
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Jameson said she met with the Knoxville Police Chief Tuesday afternoon and he explained that the officer was being cleared after an investigation from Internal Affairs.
She said the chief sympathized with her position, but explained the findings of the investigative report. Jameson believes, based on the report, that Internal Affairs was looking to clear the officer from the beginning.
Jameson says there were a number of different ways the off-duty officer could have handled the situation - without confronting her with a gun.