The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office deputy at the center of a deadly officer-involved shooting this week has previously been accused of assaulting a man on a traffic stop during his time as a Collegedale police officer.
Around 2 a.m. on Monday, deputy Jordan Long tried to stop Tyler Hays in the 16000 block of Crestview Drive in Sale Creek. A brief pursuit ensued, and Hays reportedly fled on foot. The two then "became involved in an altercation," according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, ending with Long shooting Hays.
Hays died at the scene. Officials have not said whether Hays was armed.
The Times Free Press asked the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office whether the officer in question was Long at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, and the office declined to do so until it issued a news release at 6 p.m. saying it was. In July 2019, Long left the Collegedale Police Department to "move forward with pursuing a career at the Sheriff's Office," according to his resignation letter.
A lawsuit was filed by attorney Robin Flores in late 2019 accusing Long of yanking his client, Matthew Gilmore, into oncoming traffic.
According to the suit, Long pulled Gilmore over because Gilmore's truck matched the description of one involved in a hit-and-run earlier that night.
Long's account of what took place during the traffic stop did not match what was seen in dash and body camera footage.
In his incident report, Long claims Gilmore immediately became hostile with him and did not comply with orders.
Dash and body camera footage, however, showed that Long approached the driver's side door and almost immediately attempted to open the door.
As Gilmore started to voluntarily step out of the truck, Long grabbed his arm, turned him around to face the truck, folded his arms behind his back and then yanked him into oncoming traffic, the footage shows.
Another officer had to stop Long and Gilmore from getting too far into the road.
The incident was entered into Long's disciplinary record as a "supervisor notes entry" that logged multiple mistakes made by Long.
"This stop should have merely been an investigatory stop and then released if not the vehicle," Collegedale Sgt. Michael Westfield wrote.
But, according to Westfield, Long said he "learned from his mistakes and will work on correcting the issue at hand."
An internal affairs investigation was never opened. Instead, Long was told to study traffic stop policy and to "adhere to it if the situation allows."
The lawsuit has since been moved to federal court after originally being filed against the wrong officer. Flores said his client couldn't properly identify Long because the city of Collegedale refused to release a police report or incident number.
Both Collegedale and Long, through his attorney Benjamin Lauderbak, have denied all allegations of wrongoing.
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