Zebulon Police Department chief Jonathan Hemphill is under scrutiny after bodycam footage of an Aug. 25 traffic stop in Molena shows his reaction to being pulled over.
Hemphill immediately gets out of his vehicle and approaches the Molena Police Department officers after being pulled over for dark window tint and having a ‘ghost tag’ which means it’s not registered.
Atlanta news stations aired footage of the traffic stop and alleged that Hemphill retaliated against the MPD officers by blocking their emergency radio channel. The ZPD and MPD shared an emergency radio channel but after Hemphill was pulled over in Molena, the city was blocked from using the frequency. Molena was forced to ask to use the Pike County Sheriff’s Office emergency radio channel.
When the Pike County Journal Reporter contacted city of Zebulon officials, city attorney Rob Morton said, “Our official response is that the matter is under consideration and we don’t have a formal comment at this time.”
During the traffic stop, Hemphill also threatened to call the officers’ superiors and had such aggressive body language that at one point, a female Molena officer asked, “Why are you coming up to me like that? I’m doing my job, right?”
At one time during the traffic stop, Hemphill was talking on the phone and cursed in his response to the Molena officer.
Molena Police chief Matt Polk said Oct. 10 that the city is still using the Pike County Sheriff’s Office emergency frequency to keep citizens safe.
“I am definitely proud of my officers for the way they handled the traffic stop and I would expect nothing less than the upmost professionalism from a Molena Police Officer,” said MPD chief Polk.