‘Your chief worked for me!”: Ga. chief faces criticism for treatment of LEOs during traffic stop
Bodycam video shows chief Jonathan Hemphill berate officers after he was stopped for a dark window tint and ghost tag
By Amanda Spence
MOLENA, Ga. — The police chief of Zebulon is facing criticism after he was captured on bodycam video after being pulled over for a traffic stop.
11 Alive reported that Police Chief Jonathan Hemphill was stopped by officers in Molena on August 25. Molena and Zebulon share an emergency radio channel. However, after the stop, Hemphill blocked Molena from using the Zebulon frequency.
During the incident, body camera footage shows Hemphill vacating his car and walking over to the police vehicle.
“I'm the police chief in Zebulon. Matt Polk worked for me. Your chief worked for me,” Hemphill said.
“Well, nice to meet you,” the officer replied.
The cops let the chief know that they pulled him over for his dark window tint and for having a “ghost tag,” which describes a tag that isn’t registered.
The chief goes on to dispute why he was stopped. An officer explained again that it was due to the tint of his windows, and Hemphill cursed back.
When a female officer asked him why he was being "hostile," the chief replied, "I don't have to talk to you."
Molena’s police chief, Matt Polk, supports the cops who pulled over Hemphill.
“I don't know why that traffic stop transpired the way that it did, but I am very proud of my officers for the way that they handled it,” Chief Polk said. “I commend those officers because there is a power imbalance, they're just trying to do their job, and they did not back down. For citizens, you want officers like that, who reinforce the law, no matter who it is.”
11 Alive tried to get comments from the City of Zebulon and the Police Chief’s office but hadn’t heard back.
Molena has since been using the Pike County Sheriff’s Office channel for communications.
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