An Illinois cop who was once the subject of one of our most viral videos proved to be more interested in jailing a man for doing a good deed rather than helping a man who appeared to be in medical need earlier this month.
Now Centralia police officer Billy White has been suspended again just as he was in 2018 following the viral dash cam video showing him t-boning a car driven by a 17-year-old girl in a high school parking lot after the girl had returned from an appointment.
In the latest incident, White responded to a call about an unconscious man at the side of the road near some railroad tracks on March 7. Upon arriving on the scene, he demanded identification from the man whose daughter had called 911.
But the man, Aron Flanagan, told the officer they had only been waiting for police to arrive and were now going to be on their way. After all, he was under no legal requirement to identify himself.
But that did not stop White from accusing Flanagan of obstructing an investigation when it was really nothing but a fishing expedition in the hopes of scoring an easy arrest.
Like most cops, White claimed he was only watching out for everybody’s “safety” but that word is an oxymoron when used by cops. He was also watching out for the student’s safety when he rammed into her, sending her to the hospital. The girl’s family is suing.
According to the state’s “stop and identify law,” police must have a reasonable suspicion he committed a crime as you can read below.
(725 ILCS 5/107-14) (from Ch. 38, par. 107-14)
Sec. 107-14. Temporary questioning without arrest.
(a) A peace officer, after having identified himself as a peace officer, may stop any person in a public place for a reasonable period of time when the officer reasonably infers from the circumstances that the person is committing, is about to commit or has committed an offense as defined in Section 102-15 of this Code, and may demand the name and address of the person and an explanation of his actions. Such detention and temporary questioning will be conducted in the vicinity of where the person was stopped.
Flanagan was a passenger in a car driven by his daughter when they encountered the man on the side of the road and stopped to help him. The man was semi-conscious and told them a white car had struck him. He also appeared drunk. Flanagan and his daughter were concerned about his safety and called 911. Then they waited for help to arrive.
According to X-95 Radio in Illinois:
The video shows Officer Billy White arresting Aron Flanagan after Flanagan and his daughter had called 911 for a man they found lying on the ground near the 13th Street railroad crossing. The man, evidently intoxicated, had claimed he had been struck by a vehicle.
Upon his arrival, White told Flanagan to move his vehicle, but Flanagan informed him they were going to leave since emergency personnel had arrived. White told him he needed their information before they left. That quickly led to an argument between White and Flanagan who said he did not have an ID and would not give his name.
White quickly began cursing and handcuffed Flanagan and ordered another officer to place him in his squad car. White told Flanagan he was under arrest for obstruction of justice but he has not been charged in court.
The incident was reviewed by Dodson and the command staff who found White’s behavior to be in violation of department policy and standards of conduct.
According to Dodson, White has been disciplined, and steps have been taken to prevent this type of conduct in the future. The Department as a whole will be provided further training and Dodson says he is also reinforcing his expectations of how officers’ interactions with the public are and how they must meet the department’s clearly established code of conduct.
The question that needs to be asked is why does the entire department need “further training” when stop and identify laws are some of the most basic laws to understand. It makes one wonder what they are teaching in the academy besides how to lie and kill.
In 2017, White was named [Officer of the Year](“Officer White also serves as a Field Training Officer, who is one of a group of officers that is assigned to train new police officers. ) and was described as a “Field Training Officer, who is one of a group of officers that is assigned to train new police officers.” It should be noted police awards are not much different than the participation awards handed out to elementary school children to build their confidence.
“This guy just wants to be a fucking idiot,” White tells another cop at the 7:45 mark before muting his camera for several minutes which appears to be obstruction of an investigation but the rules are different for cops.