1:04 PM PDT, April 30, 2021
A 68-year-old Atlanta librarian is suing police in Salisbury, North Carolina, claiming excessive force during a 2019 traffic stop. The just-released body cam video shows police pulling Stephanie Bottom by her arm and hair from her car and handcuffing her on the side of the highway.
Sheriff’s deputies in North Carolina say they tried to pull Bottom over for speeding, but she refused to stop.
The grandmother of five says she was on her way to her aunt’s funeral when she was pulled over for allegedly going 80 mph in a 70 mph zone. She says when she finally realized she was being pursued by police, it took awhile for her to find a safe place to pull over. When she came to a stop, she says cops rushed toward her with guns drawn.
“Why are you doing this to me?” Bottom is heard telling officers.
“We’ve been following you for about 10 miles,” an officer responds.
“I wasn’t running. I was just driving,” Bottom says.
She pleads for help, saying she has an injured shoulder. An officer tells her she refused to stop for law enforcement.
“I didn’t know you guys were chasing after me. I was listening to my music…I wasn’t going that fast,” Bottom says.
“Well, honey, you had several miles to stop. Why didn’t you stop?” the officer responds.
“Because I didn’t know they were going after me!” Bottom says.
“Ma’am, there was about four police cars behind you at one point in time,” the officer responds.
The police department in Salisbury said they would not comment when contacted by Inside Edition. Bottom pleaded guilty to failing to heed blue lights. Charges against her for speeding and resisting arrest were dismissed.