Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Volunteers linebacker Jeremy Banks issued an apology for his nasty and obscene remarks to officers, captured on video when he was arrested by the University of Tennessee police in September (video below).
Police initially stopped Banks after he made an illegal U-turn in the early morning hours of Sept. 15, The Washington Post reported.
When the officer ran the football player’s driver’s license, he discovered that Banks had a warrant for failure to appear in court on Aug. 21 on a misdemeanor citation for driving on a suspended license in July.
Police took Banks into custody and put the handcuffed linebacker in the backseat of a police vehicle, where there was a camera on him the entire time, The Washington Post reported.
Video showed the exchange between Banks and police appeared very friendly.
An officer allowed Banks to call Volunteers Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt on speakerphone and after the linebacker explained to his coach that he’d been arrested, he gave the officer the phone to talk to the coach.
The video showed the officer explained the situation in detail to Banks’ coach, who reacted by blaming police.
“This is the silliest s--t I’ve ever seen in my life,” Pruitt told police in the video. “I’ve got it. I understand. I’ve worked at four places, and I ain’t ever had no crap like this except for here. Because the people usually say, ‘Hey, something’s not right here.’”
The coach told the officer that “some of these kids” don’t have anyone at home to teach them how to do the right thing, and tried to get the officer to let Banks go, the video showed.
The officer had no plans to release the football player.
“Anyhow, go ahead and do your civic duty man,” Pruitt told the officer and then the call ended.
Once the University of Tennessee police officer and the intern who was riding with him got into the car with Banks, the football player turned mean and nasty, the video showed.
“Where I’m from, we shoot at cops,” he told the officer and then delivered the veiled threat “Y’all don’t want to see me without that badge.”
Banks used several racial slurs while talking to the officers and said “I don’t like police, bro.”
“All my f--king life I hated cops,” he added.
Despite the heckling and taunting from the backseat, the officer and his intern maintained a calm and professional demeanor throughout the ride, the video showed.
“What would you do without that badge? That’s all I want to know,” Banks asked the officer in the video.
“Wouldn’t be here, dealing with you,” the officer replied.
“Y’all wouldn’t want to see me without that badge,” Banks told the officer.
The officer warned him to not threaten a police officer.
“That ain’t no threat at all,” Banks said. “I’m just gonna talk. That’s what I do. I’ve been dealing with police all my life.”
Then he turned his attention to the intern in the car.
“Ma’am I don’t think you want to be an intern,” Banks warned her. “Cause where I’m from, we shoot at cops. I’m from Memphis, Tennessee.”
Shortly after the video was released, the University of Tennessee Police Department found itself in the hot seat for what some perceived as favoritism shown toward Banks during his arrest.
The police department told the Knoxville News Sentinel that there was no special treatment for Banks.
"Our policy does allow people to make limited phone calls to third parties at the discretion of the officer, as long as it does not present a safety risk," University of Tennessee PD Spokeswoman Lola Alapo said in a statement. "These conversations are closely monitored by the officer."
Both Pruitt and Banks have changed their tunes and released apology statements to the media since the video of Banks’ profanity-filled police car ride was released, The Washington Post reported.
“I want to sincerely apologize to my family, the University of Tennessee and the law enforcement community,” Banks wrote. “I deeply regret my language and attitude in the video. I have great respect for our police men and women, and I am embarrassed by my actions that night. That’s not who I am. I promise to be a better representative for the University of Tennessee moving forward.”
The head coach also expressed contrition for his linebacker’s actions that night, according to The Washington Post.
“Jeremy’s behavior and comments are unacceptable and portrayed himself and our football program very poorly and he understands that,” Pruitt said. “We will address the matter internally. I’m determined to do what I can to help Jeremy grow up and become a better man. Our team and staff respect our law enforcement and we will continue to educate our players on how to carry themselves at all times.”
Watch the officer’s conversation with Coach Pruitt in the first video below (second video below first):
Watch Jeremy Banks talk about shooting police here below: