Family calls traffic stop brutality, but Sugar Creek police call it failure to comply

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SUGAR CREEK, Mo. — An arrest caught on camera has led to claims of police abuse, but the metro department involved says things aren’t what they seem.

It started at Sugar Creek City Hall. Police said they responded to a disturbance, which led to a slow-speed police chase and what Aaron Fletcher’s family calls police brutality.

“I don’t care if you did break the law,” Fletcher’s sister Patrice Phillips said. “Have your day in court.”

Phillips was brought to tears talking about the video, caught on camera by her brother’s neighbors.

Sugar Creek Police Chief Christopher Soule said officers attempted to pull-over Fletcher after they were notified he had six active warrants.

“He had led the police on. He wouldn’t stop. He kept driving. He gets on his phone, calls his friends to be recording when he got there,” Soule said.

Phillips said her brother refused to stop because he was scared of the police.

“He feared for his life. He knew something was going to happen,” Phillips said, “and that’s exactly what happened.”

“It’s being recorded,” Fletcher yells in the recording, “I’m being kidnapped.”

An officer responds, “We’re recording it, too.”

Soule says his detective was wearing a body camera. That video shows excessive force, according to Phillips.

“If he was breaking the law, pull him over, take him to jail, let him have his day in court,” she said. “But he shouldn’t have had to go to the hospital before he went anywhere.”

“I understand where they think it looks like excessive force,” Soule said. “But we only use the force necessary to gain compliance. Once compliance was met, we stood the subject up,” the chief said.

Soule said Fletcher complained of neck and upper shoulder pain shortly after they arrived at the police station. An ambulance took him to Centerpoint Medical Center where Phillips saw her brother in a neck brace and sling.

“To see him in the hospital at the hands of police,” Phillips said, “it’s like, it’s like seeing a doctor trying to kill you.”

Fletcher refuses to be booked, photographed and fingerprinted, saying the police have no jurisdiction over him — that he only answers to God, Sugar Creek police said.

“I would just hope that the suspect would’ve handled it correctly,” Soule said. “Pull over, take your ticket, get arrested.”

Fletcher is being charged with driving with a revoked or suspended license, eluding police, resisting arrest and failure to obey a lawful order, according to police. He’s being held on a $4,000 cash bond.

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