Houston City Councilman Jarvis Johnson was arrested Wednesday night after he initially refused to stop his vehicle immediately when a police officer tried to pull him over, officials said.
Johnson is charged with evading arrest, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
According to a criminal complaint in the case, Houston Police Officer S. Running attempted to stop Johnson, who “did then and there unlawfully intentionally flee.”
The officer reportedly tried to stop Johnson around 10 p.m. for exceeding the speed limit in an area just north of downtown, but details are sketchy about why the officer initially tried to stop him. A woman riding with Johnson was released, police said.
CM Johnson later posted bond and was released. There will be a press conference today at 2 PM at which we will apparently hear his side of this story. Until then, I’m going to follow the advice of CM Jolanda Jones and not speculate about what did or did not happen.
UPDATE: From the updated version of the story:
This afternoon, the councilman issued a statement on the incident.
“Last night was an unfortunate situation where the officer erroneously surmised that I was speeding and fled his warning a claim I vehemently deny. At no point did I drive over 25 mph, run stop signs, or maneuver around any vehicle. I acted in no way that would give any indication that I was attempting to flee or evade apprehension.”
His statement later reads, “I sincerely hope that last night’s incident was not in response to my constant communication with the police in requesting an end to “speed traps” in the area, and an increase of patrol.”
This afternoon, Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland issued a statement.
“On Wednesday, June 30, about 9:45 p.m., Houston City Council member Jarvis Johnson was arrested and charged with evading arrest after HPD officers attempted a traffic stop.”
“This is a matter to be resolved through the criminal justice system. I want all officers to know that I am proud of their service and commitment to the citizens of Houston, while enforcing all laws to keep the city safe. As Chief of Police, I am proud to be the leader of an organization of dedicated professionals.”
The story says that HPD confirmed it was “not a high-speed chase”. We’ll know more soon enough.