An Ohio man says a Cleveland Heights police officer acted aggressively when he pulled his gun on him during a traffic stop as he was rushing to his wife in labor.
Samuel Taylor says he didn’t immediately pull over after the police officer flashed his lights. Instead Taylor says he put on his hazard lights, pulled to the shoulder lane and slowly kept going until he reached his home.
When he got out of the car and turned to the officer to explain that his wife was in labor, Taylor said the officer was already out of his car and had his gun trained on him.
“I knew this situation looked dangerous,” Taylor said. “I got out of the car and he yelled a few things, yelled at me to get against the car.”
Taylor said he tried to be as non-threatening as possible so that the officer would understand he just wanted to get home. He said he didn't pull over because he was extremely worried about his wife and was so close to home.
However, Taylor said the gun remained trained on him as he tried to explain his wife, Katie, had been in the hospital just days earlier and was now reporting labor pains.
“I told him the situation as best I could,” recalled Taylor “[I said] ‘Can you please let me go into the house?’”
Taylor said he was frisked and then told to wait in the car as the officer approached the house.
Cleveland Heights Police Chief Jeffrey Robertson told ABC News the department did an internal review after a local news organization reported on the incident and said all of the officer’s actions were within policy guidelines.
Robertson said that Taylor kept going for seven-tenths of mile after the officer turned on his lights and then got out of the car and approached the officer, which is when the officer pulled his gun.
Robertson said the officer immediately holstered his weapon after Taylor told him that his wife was in labor and needed assistance. Robertson also said between the time he initially tried to pull Taylor over and when he radioed for an ambulance was only two minutes.
When Taylor's wife walked outside, he said the officer started to yell at her to ask if she needed an ambulance. Taylor said his wife responded, "I don’t know, I need my husband. I’m having a baby."
Taylor tried to leave to give his wife his coat, but the officer told him to get back in the car. At one point his wife had a contraction and fell to the porch step as the officer continued to talk to her, Taylor said.
Taylor said he was given two citations, one for speeding and one for failing to yield to an emergency
Taylor’s wife was taken to the hospital and gave birth later that day. Taylor said his wife and new son Jonah are doing well, but he remains frustrated and plans on fighting the citation he received for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.
“I’ve heard the officer followed all their policies and there’s not going to be any type of review [of] policy,” said Taylor. “If a third party said he followed the right procedure, then I would question the procedure.”
Taylor has not filed charges or a complaint with the police department but said he was consulting with lawyers about the possibility of filing charges.
Cleveland Heights is suburb of Cleveland and their police department is separate from the Cleveland Division of Police that was investigated by the U.S. Justice Department.