La Vergne, TN – A real estate agent in Tennessee attracted a lot of attention after he made a social media post telling a police officer to jump into traffic.
The video showed a woman, who had been pulled over because she had no brake lights, refusing to give police her driver’s license.
The driver cited an irrelevant case law to state that traffic infractions are not crimes, and then pushed her mistaken belief that drivers are only required to identify themselves if they commit a crime.
In reality, states criminalize failure to identify yourself if stopped while driving.
After numerous officers arrived and gave her every opportunity to identify herself, she remained locked in her car and refused to cooperate.
Police eventually had to break the car window to get to the woman.
Most of the comments posted to the video’s thread supported the officers’ actions, and said the woman should have followed police commands.
But the Tennessee real estate agent had a different opinion on the incident.
“Find something better to do damn cop. Or jump into on coming traffic,” Cleveland posted.
Some Facebook users then shared screenshots of it throughout the law enforcement community.
“I was just messing around. It was a kneejerk reaction to the actual video. I didn’t really even read any of the comments. I’m definitely sorry. I know it’s made some folks mad,” Cleveland told Blue Lives Matter on Friday.
He said he wrote the post because he “disagreed with the part of the video where they’re breaking out her windows.” He has since deleted the post.
“Of course, I don’t want to see anybody killed or maimed,” Cleveland said. “They’re supposed to be there to protect us.”
He said he’s had numerous police, and other first responders, as real estate clients in the past.
He's also had personal experience with police during his arrest a few months ago.
On July 1, 2017, Cleveland was arrested and charged with domestic assault, and two counts of retaliation for past action. His wife, Catherine Cleveland, requested and was granted an order of protection against her husband the same day.
Cleveland and his wife later reconciled, and the charges and protection order were dropped.
His employers at Exit Realty of the South learned of people’s displeasure with Cleveland’s post via phone calls and many posts to their social media pages.
“I jumped Jayme up and down this morning, and he said it was just a bad moment, and he wasn’t thinking when he sent it. I was like dude you can’t do this,” Dan Bush, managing partner at Exit Realty of the South, told Blue Lives Matter.
“This is not at all reflective of the opinion of Exit Realty,” Bush said. “I apologize for him. I apologize for Exit Realty of the South. I had nothing to do with [the Facebook post], but I am apologizing for him because I’m responsible for this [company].”
He said that Cleveland has worked with Exit Realty of the South for about a year and a half, and he’s never shared any anti-police sentiments in the past.
“I’ve been selling real estate for 19 years. He wouldn’t work with us if this was something that happened regularly,” Bush said.
Cleveland, for his part, said he regretted making the comment, but also said he’s very angry about how law enforcement supporters on social media responded to his opinion.
“They’re trying to get me fired,” he complained, pointing out messages sent to his business’s Facebook page. “They all banded together and flooded my page with lies.”
Cleveland said he’s never met any of the posters putting negative reviews on his social media pages.
He said he’s received hate mail, including death threats, from Facebook users who he believed were law enforcement officers.
“I found some of these guys. I’d like to have them arrested,” Cleveland said.
When asked, Cleveland was unable to provide any evidence of death threats or that anybody who contacted him was actually a police officer, but he did show that people were being mean to him.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Sharing your opinion on social media is great, but please don't contact a person or their employer directly.
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