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DA's office drops charges for man in Collegedale traffic stop Wednesday

Screengrab of the video of the Collegedale Police  traffic stop now under investigation, provided by attorney Ryan Wheeler.
Screengrab of the video of the Collegedale Police traffic stop now under investigation, provided by attorney Ryan Wheeler.
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UPDATE (June 22nd):

The District Attorney dropped all charges Wednesday against a Collegedale man who was delivering food when he was hit with a stun gun during a traffic stop.

A police report said Delane Gordon was speeding and resisted arrest.

But his attorney says there was no reason for Collegedale police to escalate the situation.

EARLIER (May 18th):

An attorney for the Collegedale man who was delivering food when he was hit with a stun gun during a traffic stop says the District Attorney's office wants to drop the charges against him.

We have continued to dig into the story of Delane Gordon.

A police report says he was speeding, resisted arrest and argued with the police officer.

But, Gordon's attorney says there was no reason for officers to escalate the situation like this by pulling him out of his car and hitting him with a stun gun repeatedly.

His attorney says the DA's office does not believe Gordon should face charges, but the judge wants to see more evidence to support that.

They will be back in court in June.

EARLIER (April 25th):

The Hamilton County DA's office says they are requesting that the Department of Justice investigate the use of force in a Collegedale traffic stop after receiving a letter Monday from the Chattanooga Clergy for Justice.

In the letter, the group says a Collegedale officer used excessive force when he used a stun gun on a man during a traffic stop.

Pinkston said in light of the concerns expressed by the Chattanooga Clergy for Justice, he is withdrawing his request for the sheriff’s office to investigate the traffic stop in Collegedale and is instead asking the DOJ to investigate.

Specifically, the DA's office says the request will be sent to the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., as well as to the acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

Read the letter:

EARLIER (April 20th):

Delane Gordon appeared in court in Collegedale Wednesday afternoon.

But the hearing ended up being delayed for 30 days.

We spoke with Gordon's attorney, who says the officer's lawyer wanted to wait until the investigation into the way the traffic stop was conducted was complete.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is investigating that part of this story. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation told us on Wednesday that they are no longer investigating.

And in 30 days, Gordon's lawyer says there will either be a hearing, or the charges will be dismissed.

We asked Gordon's lawyer if he was hopeful the charges would be dropped, and he told us he's 'confident' that that will likely be the case.

Depend on us to keep you posted.

UPDATE (April 12th):

The Chattanooga Clergy for Justice say they are publicly requesting the TBI handle the investigation of a Collegedale police officer who used a stun gun on a Black delivery driver during a traffic stop.

They also wish to hold a meeting with the civil service board.

The Chattanooga Clergy for Justice say "in accordance with research, law experts, and the state law itself... state law does not intervene in local department policies."

They say "HCSO cannot be involved in the mediation agreement because state law puts departmental decisions related to discipline and termination in the hands of the civil service board, the Chattanooga Clergy for Justice is thereby requesting a meeting with this civil service board."

Previously, the Chattanooga Clergy for Justice say they were in the process of scheduling a meeting with a mediator from the Department of Justice and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department to discuss their Use of Force Policies.

The Clergy claims to have documented 19 instances of abuse by Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies since Sheriff Hammond’s election in 2008.

We reached out to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office for comment.

HCSO spokesman Matt Lea replied:

“The Chattanooga Clergy for Justice’s allegations remain the same. We have previously responded to their allegations publicly and at this time, the HCSO does not have anything further to offer in regards to their efforts or unsubstantiated allegations. At this point, we are at an impasse. Lastly, the Clergy for Justice’s request to have the TBI investigate the Collegedale incident must be directed to the District Attorney."

Depend on us to keep you posted.

EARLIER (March 22nd):

Tuesday we obtained an affidavit containing more details about an altercation during a police traffic stop involving a white officer used a stun gun on a Black delivery driver.

The driver was caught on radar speeding and resisted arrest, arguing with the police officer when he was pulled over, an affidavit says.

According to the affidavit, Officer Driskill was going southbound on 5700 Tallant Road when he saw the delivery driver, Delane Gordon, speeding northbound.

The affidavit says the officer used his radar and Gordon was going 49mph in a 35mph zone.

The officer turned around and stopped Gordon around 5972 Tallant Road, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit told Gordon why he was being pulled over and asked for license, insurance, and registration.

Then, the affidavit says Gordon became argumentative and said he wasn't speeding.

The affidavit says the officer and Gordon went back in forth, the officer asking for his information and Gordon asking to see on the radar where he speeded.

After repeatedly asking Gordon to exit the vehicle, the affidavit says the officer called for a back up unit.

The officer opened the door and ordered Gordon out of the vehicle, the affidavit says.

When he refused the officer put his hands on Gordon to pull him from the vehicle but he held onto the steering wheel, according to the affidavit.

The officer then drew his taser and told told Gordon if he did not exit the vehicle he would taser him, says the affidavit.

When the officer couldn't remove Gordon from the vehicle, the affidavit says he tasered him in the left arm and hip.

After, the affidavit says Gordon again refused to get out.

But, when the officer said he would taser him again, the affidavit says Gordon got out of the vehicle and the officer helped him onto the groud.

After handcuffing him, the affidavit says the officer pulled him into a sitting position.

Several other units responded and after EMS cleared Gordon, the affidavit says he was taken to the Collegedale Police Department.

Delane Gordon is charged with speeding, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct, according to the affidavit.

EARLIER (March 18th):

Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston has asked the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) to investigate a police traffic stop in Collegedale.

This, after a white officer used a stun gun on a Black delivery driver, named Delane Gordon.

On Friday, the driver's attorney released video of the incident taken by the driver himself.

Watch the video below. WARNING: It contains graphic language.

Gordon's attorney, Ryan Wheeler, says the 28-year-old driver was making a Door Dash delivery in a Collegedale neighborhood on March 10th.

He says on the way, he passed a Collegedale officer, who turned around and pulled him over for speeding at 5952 Tallant Road.

Wheeler says Gordon was just 300 feet from his door dash destination at the time.

He says Gordon has no criminal history and was scared.

"In this situation, Delane was scared. Delane asked for additional officers to come to the scene because he was scared," says his attorney, Ryan Wheeler.

He says Gordon’s goal was to have a cordial conversation with the officer about why he was pulled over.

"We feel that the public should be able to have, you know, respectful interactions with officers without it getting out of hand," he said.

Gordon started recording the stop on his phone when the attorney says he realized it started escalating.

The video shows the driver putting his hands up, saying he is uncomfortable, and asking to speak to the officer's supervisor. He refuses to leave his car.

The Collegedale officer is white. You can see the officer trying to pull the driver out of the car and eventually using a stun gun on him. The video stops when the officer actually gets him out of his car.

Pinkston's office says the driver was charged with speeding, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Wheeler says those charges could carry up to 6 months of jail time.

More video exists of this incident: The officer's bodycam footage. But Collegedale Police told us Friday they do not plan to release this video right now because it's an open investigation.

They're not currently releasing their report for the same reason.

Attorney Wheeler says based on the facts they've gathered so far, he’s confident Gordon will be cleared of any wrongdoing.

"There's enough to acknowledge that something that was not supposed to happen occurred here," he says.

He says this case speaks to a larger issue of mentality and temperament in law enforcement.

"Speaking to a larger point, you've got members of the community that are weary and fearful of any interaction with police and law enforcement," explains Wheeler. "Incidents like this, just kind of confirm those fears."

That's why he says he hopes they’ll raise awareness to help minimize issues like this moving forward.

When you have a simple traffic stop, citizens and officers should be able to engage each other respectfully, he says.

A release from Pinkston's office on Tuesday said, "Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston is asking the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) to investigate a traffic stop by the Collegedale Police Department that occurred on March 10, 2022. The driver was charged with speeding, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. No additional information on this incident will be forthcoming until the investigation has been completed."

The same day, Collegedale Police posted this on their Facebook page:

"The Collegedale Police Department has been made aware of the investigation request made by District Attorney Neal Pinkston regarding a traffic stop that occurred on March 10, 2022, and will be cooperating fully with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office as they conduct their independent investigation. The Collegedale Police Department has launched its own administrative review of the traffic stop and will release the results of that internal affairs investigation once it has been completed. As is standard with any on-going investigation, additional comments and details will be provided at the conclusion of the investigation"

Collegedale Police tell us that the unidentified officer is not on leave as of Friday.

Driver Delane Gordon is due in court on April 20th in Collegedale.

Attorneys held a news conference Friday morning that provided more details on the case.

Watch it below:

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This is a developing story. Depend on us to keep you posted as we learn more.

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