Video, audio show West Columbia mayor involved in traffic stop a - - Columbia, South Carolina

Video, audio show West Columbia mayor involved in traffic stop as constable


As citizens prepare to vote on a strong mayor system, a video from a group opposing the strong mayor measure called West Columbia United was released.

The dashboard camera video from a traffic stop in 2012 shows what unfolded after a motorcyclist zipped past the home of West Columbia Mayor Joe Owens on Inview Road.

Owens believed the biker was going too fast and went to speak with him. Acting as the town's constable, a position Owens says he's held for 15 or 20 years, calls 911 after he and the rider exchange words. In the call, Owens identifies himself as a constable and a mayor and requested a police supervisor to come to the location to write a ticket to the motorcyclist.

At one point, Owens tells the motorcyclist he was going 45 or 55 miles an hour.The cyclist denies speeding.

The speed limit on Inview is either 30 or 35.

When he was interviewed early Tuesday afternoon, Owens said there was nothing improper about what he did. In fact, one of two officers who arrived at the scene more than two years ago did cite the biker for going too fast for conditions.

Owens, who did not make the stop on his own, says the charge was later dropped.

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