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'Don’t look good for the town': Police officer warns town council member about speed

WRTV Investigates obtained the footage after receiving a tip and submitting a records request to the Mooresville Police Department
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Posted at 4:20 PM, May 29, 2024

MOORESVILLE — A Mooresville police officer warned a town council member “you can’t be doing 21 over” and “don’t look good for the town” after the officer clocked the elected official going 71 mph in a 50 mph zone.

The interaction happened on April 20 and was captured on dash camera and body camera.

WRTV Investigates obtained the footage after receiving a tip and submitting a records request to the Mooresville Police Department.

In the first clip, grainy dash camera video shows the officer is driving southbound on State Road 67, a busy road that cuts through the town of 10,000 people and has a speed limit 50 mph.

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Dash camera video from Mooresville Police on April 20

The dash camera video shows the officer flip a U-turn, head north, and then after a minute the video ends at 11:11 am.
 
The officer’s body camera picks up three minutes later at 11:14 am, with 71 mph visible on the radar in front of him.

The officer pulls into a car wash, steps out and talks to Mooresville town council member Josh Brown, who is in the middle of cleaning out his Mustang convertible.

WATCH | The police body cam footage of the interaction. The transcription of the interaction is directly below the video.

Mooresville Body Cam Footage

  • Officer: You're going a little fast up 67.
  • Brown: Oh, not me you know that.
  • Officer: Yeah, you were going 71!
  • Brown: I was?
  • Officer: Yeah. You might want to slow down a little bit.
  • Brown: Alright.
  • Officer: Can't be doing 21 over my man.
  • Brown: My speedometer's probably off.
  • Officer: Yours?
  • Brown: It said 60.
  • Officer: You were doing 71 on the radar.
  • Brown: (inaudible)
  • Officer: You can't be doing 21 over. Don't look good for the town!
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Town council member Josh Brown talks to a police officer while cleaning his car.

The total interaction lasted less than a minute.

The officer did not get close to Brown, nor did he ask for the council member’s license or registration.

Brown did not receive a written warning.

WRTV Investigates reached out to Mooresville Police Chief Kerry Buckner and requested to speak with him on camera.

WRTV Investigates sent him questions via email including:

  • Is there a police report for this incident? If so, can you please share that with me?
  • Did the officer follow protocol?  When a citizen is driving 20+ mph over the speed limit, what is the protocol officers should follow?

The chief did not provide a report of the incident however, he did say officers have discretion while doing their jobs.
“As in most agencies, our officers may use their discretion while performing their duties, if the law allows them to,” said Chief Buckner in an email to WRTV. “This was a traffic infraction which falls under the officer discretion guidelines.”

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Mooresville Police wrote 1,615 citations and 2,224 written warnings for speeding in 2023, according to the chief.

Combined, that’s an average of more than 10 speeding tickets/written warnings issued every day by the department.

The chief said he would have to review every ticket to determine how many of those were for driving more than 20 mph over the speed limit.

“I do not have the staff to complete this in a reasonable amount of time,” said Buckner in an email to WRTV. “You may file a public records request for 6 months of citations to review to answer your question.”

The Mooresville Police Department does not track verbal warnings given to drivers.

“We do not document or track that activity and every officer operates differently,” said Buckner.

WRTV Investigates also reached out to town council member Josh Brown.

He said his car is a 91 Mustang and the odometer is not always working.

Kenney asked if he taken his car to a mechanic to have the odometer checked, and he said no.

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Mooresville Town Council Member Josh Brown

“I went down Bridge Street, we have a portable speed check and I did check it,” said Brown. “I’ve had a seatbelt ticket. I’ve never had a speeding ticket never.”

Brown pointed out he never told the officer he’s an elected official nor did he try to get out of a ticket.

"If I'm wrong, I'm wrong,” Brown told WRTV Investigates. “Write me a ticket. Write me a warning. Verbal, whatever you need to do that's fine. That's your job."

Brown said he does not know if the officer knew who he was.

“He’s the police officer not me,” said Brown. “That’s up to his discretion.”

It's not clear what happened in the gap between the dash camera and the body camera footage.

“I provided you with all the video we have of this encounter,” said Buckner in an email to WRTV. “Our in-car video cameras do not have audio. There was no further documentation or investigation associated with this encounter.”