Salisbury police respond to excessive force accusations

by: Tina Terry Updated:


SALISBURY, N.C. - The Salisbury Police Department is responding to allegations of misconduct made by two Salisbury pastors.
In one dash-cam video, an SPD officer pulled over the Rev. Bill Godair of Cornerstone Church on Statesville Boulevard.
The officer told the pastor he was clocked driving 58 in a 45 mph zone.
"I realized it when you turned the light on. I was trying to get to the cleaners," Godair said. 
At one point, Godair took a toothpick out of his mouth and threw it to the ground.
"Sir, what did you throw out here?" the officer said.
"I had a toothpick in my mouth, I didn't want to talk to you with a toothpick, said Godair. 
"So, you just threw it out the window?" said the officer. "Why did you throw it out the window with me watching?"
Eyewitness News reached Godair by phone Tuesday. He admitted he was speeding but said he and his wife felt they were mistreated by the officer.
"We both felt that was a threatening situation for us. We felt very uncomfortable that day," he said.
In a statement, Salisbury Police Chief Rory Collins said, "It is clear to me that the officers acted appropriately and respectfully.”
He also said he saw, "no evidence of misconduct."
The complaints about misconduct came during a press conference last week with the NAACP.
Godair said him, members of his church, Salisbury residents and the Rev. Bradley Taylor of Outreach Christian Ministries experienced police misconduct.
Taylor told Channel 9 Tuesday he was at that news conference to hear about allegations of misconduct and not to complain.
Godair told Channel 9 he never wanted this to be about him, but it was about the 10 people who complained to him about the department.
"We never told nobody or filed a complaint until a couple months ago when people started coming to me with all kinds of accusations about mistreatment," Godair said.