Every day all across the country, thousands of police offers patrol the streets with dash-cam equipped cars. When first implemented in many localities, a large percentage of officers were uncomfortable with the idea of being recorded. However, after the cam-inspired convictions rolled in, things changed. For one local officer, though, the conviction may be on him.
After long effort, Cleveland ABC affiliate Newsnet 5 was able to obtain a film captured by a dash cam in the car of Canton police officer Daniel Harlress. Back in December, a man named Stanley Pearson accused Harless of threatening to kill him during a traffic stop, which Pearson said was in itself made without just cause. However, as initially reported, the case may not have had all that much merit as Pearson is a convicted felon who served time in jail for fighting with police as he was being arrested back in 2003. Now, this is not to say that someone convicted of a felony cannot tell the truth but, on the other hand, most people in the general public would believe a police officer over anyone convicted of a felony.
However, all this changed when the tape from the police car made it to the media.
In the video, one can clearly watch officer Harless do everything that Pearson was accusing him of doing, namely making repeated death threats and pulling him over in revenge. Not so coincidently, Harless was one of the officers Pearson fought with back in 2003, after which Pearson accused Harless and several other officers of beating him after he was handcuffed and no longer a threat.
This comes on the heels of 2 similar accusations against Harless during the past year. As for the officer who is definitely not one of Canton’s finest, he faces a disciplinary hearing on September 7 over the Pearson stop. An internal investigation has already found that Harless broke police rules during the traffic stop and could face sanctions up to firing come hearing day.
In the end, this is a story that goes to show that the camera is the best possible witness of a crime as, after all, it ‘remembers’ things exactly as they happen. .
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