MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is now investigating a violent arrest from Oakland, Tennessee after going viral.
It started as a traffic stop and turned into a whole lot more after police said Brandon Calloway refused to pull over. They chased him to his family’s home, where things only got worse.
Fayette County District Attorney Mark Davidson confirmed the TBI will be investigating the Oakland Police Department’s arrest of Brandon Calloway.
This case came to light when a social media post alleging the young man was racially profiled and beaten by police at his Fayette County home went viral.
Oakland Police said on Saturday, July 16 Calloway failed to stop for a stop sign and was going 32 mph in a 20 mph zone. Officers chased him into his father’s home after they say Calloway refused to stop when they tried to pull him over for speeding.
WREG spoke to Calloway’s father, Ed Calloway and he describes his son as a good kid who graduated in 2021 from UT Chattanooga. Brandon still lives in Chattanooga and was in town visiting.
“I just want the truth to come out about exactly what took place. Whatever that may be,” Calloway’s father said. “[He’s] never been in trouble a day in his life. Great kid. Impeccable character.”
Ed Calloway is leaving many of the details in this arrest to his son’s attorney, Andre Wharton.
Wharton is disputing the allegations.
“It is our position that the conduct exhibited is not reflective of what good officer conduct should be about,” Wharton said. “It was as if this was a retaliatory vindictive response to a situation that just got out of hand.”
According to police, they had to kick in the door to gain entry to the home and eventually had to taze and use a baton to put Calloway into custody.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Wharton said Calloway is a college graduate and entrepreneur who was completing a DoorDash order and unarmed during what he called an “animalistic assault.”
“Nothing unlawful about doing a DoorDash in a nice vehicle,” he said. “This happened in a very short time period but obviously for Brandon, it seemed like an eternity when you have batons and tasers in your face and you’re wondering why am I being beaten.”
WREG asked retired Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy Captain Benny Cobb to look at the footage and affidavit and he gave his thoughts.
“The young man should have stopped for lawful enforcement. He should have stopped. But he didn’t. He continued on he ran into the house,” Ret. Capt. Cobb said. “Now the officers have to do something. But what they did was totally unnecessary.”
Cobb has several concerns – including the stop itself.
“They knew that all he had was traffic charges. [It] is very very rare to go to this extent on traffic charges only. If they knew who he was they could have probably got a warrant for his arrest,” Cobb said.
Another issue for Cobb is what happened when they got to the home. They didn’t have a warrant to enter.
“They were hell-bent on getting this young man,” Cobb said. “For a misdemeanor, to go in and use the kind of aggression that they did it is not only unethical as far as law enforcement officer, it’s even an illegal to do what they did.”
Cobb also points to how de-escalation could have been an option.
“If somebody has barricaded in the house and ran in the house or whatever. Law enforcement very rarely run in behind them,” Cobb said. “They will set up a perimeter they will attempt to negotiate with them to get them to come out.”
Oakland Police said Calloway was taken into custody after he was cleared for his injuries. They are not talking about the arrest or if the officers are still on the job. They told WREG that as of Tuesday, the case has officially been turned over to the Fayette County District Attorney.
There is no current timetable on how long the TBI investigation will take.