Raleigh mother arrested after running red light, refusing to get out of car

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Driver upset at treatment from trooper at traffic stop
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Driver upset at treatment from trooper at traffic stop

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- On Thursday evening, 37-year-old Raleigh mother Charish Jones found herself looking into a flashlight beamed at her face from NC Highway Patrol Trooper Zachary Bumgardner.

The trooper had pulled Jones over for running a red light.

She said she believed the light was still yellow.

"He said, 'my light was green, are you stupid?'" Jones told ABC11. "And he said, 'do you comprehend what I'm saying?"

Jones was driving off Jones Sausage Road with her 15-year-old daughter.

After the stop, Bumgardner asked Jones to step out of the car, which she initially refused to do.

In a Facebook live video, Jones and Bumgardner can be heard going back and forth, Bumgardner cites a December 1977 Pennsylvania vs. Mimms Supreme Court case. Justices ruled in favor of a law enforcement officer telling a person to get out of the vehicle during a traffic stop.

After citing the case, Jones eventually complied and stepped out of her car. Bumgardner motioned Jones to stand to the rear of her vehicle "in the dark."

She admittedly refuses and walks back toward her driver's seat. Off camera, Bumgardner can be heard telling Jones to "stop resisting" to the audible screams she would make. Her daughter watched and recorded the incident from the backseat.

"He was not acting as if I ran a red light," Jones said. "He was acting as if I was a criminal. Thank God I'm not dead. Thank God I made it home. The look in his eye; the tone of his voice said it all."

Justice Served NC executive director Diana Powell said she instructs people to record when they have police encounters.

"The white community is saying if she just complied, this may not have happened, but the black community is saying she did the right thing. That is disturbing."

"I wish we could say comply. But we don't know the outcome," Powell added. "Why was it not so simple for him to explain to her this is the reason why I need for you to get out of the car? I think he saw an opportunity. Is our community still safe with him being out there? I am concerned about that."

Powell said she would like to see Bumgardner suspended, relieved, or fired.

"He needs to be held accountable for his actions. So I absolutely would like to see something done," Jones said.

ABC11 reached out to the NCSHP for its response on Monday. The agency sent the following statement to ABC11 on Tuesday:

The Highway Patrol has received several media requests related to an enforcement action that occurred on Thursday, October 24 in Wake County. At approximately 9:30 p.m., Trooper Z. C. Bumgardner stopped Ms. Charish Jones on Jones Sausage Rd. for a stop light violation at the intersection of Jones Sausage and I-40.

At the time of the stop, Ms. Jones denied failing to stop for a red light although the Trooper's dash cam recording clearly shows her running the red light. At some point during the traffic stop, Trooper Bumgardner requested Ms. Jones to step out of her vehicle and, at first, she refused. She eventually did step out of her vehicle but then, suddenly attempted to get back into her vehicle, at which time she was arrested for resist obstruct and delay.

The Highway Patrol is reviewing all of the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. Trooper Bumgardner has not been placed on administrative duty.