Legal Counsel For Greenville Police Officer Releases Statement

The law firm representing Greenville police officer Lukisha Pittman has released a statement.

Pittman was arrested Sunday evening in Winterville. You can read the entire police report by clicking on the link above.

The statement from Pittman's legal counsel is below.

"After having seen the coverage of Officer Pittman's arrest and the Winterville Police Officer's interview on television, the legal counsel for Officer Pittman, Dr. Fred Whitehurst and David C. Sutton, feel compelled to respond.

The 8 page arrest report fails to state what really happened. Earlier that day, Officer Pittman had taken her 10 year old son and his 10 year old friend to a basketball tournament. Officer Pittman and the other child's mother agreed to meet in Winterville to drop off the other child. The two boys played and wrestled for a while waiting for the other mother to arrive. By the time the Winterville Police arrived, the two 10 year olds were playing peaceably with both mothers watching. The two mothers told the officer that the kids were playing and if you read the officer's report... he even states that there was no criminal activity afoot.

AT THAT POINT, THE US CONSTITUTION GUARANTEES THAT NO CITIZEN MAY BE LEGALLY DETAINED NOR COMPELLED TO GIVE ANY INFORMATION TO THE POLICE.

Officer Pittman knew this.

Officer Pittman had valid reasons for not wanting to give any information, but the important point -- and it seems to be getting lost -- is that she didn't need any reason at all. Any citizen, let alone a police officer, has the legal right to refuse to give out information under these circumstances. It should be deeply concerning to everyone that she got arrested in front of her 10 year old son for perfectly legal conduct. In fact, and this is in the report, she tried to get in her car, but the Winterville officer used force to prevent it and then arrested her when she attempted to call her own supervisor.

Assuming that Officer Pittman spoke loudly, two other points come to mind. Number one, it would be understandable, but more importantly, it is not a crime to speak loudly. The magistrate recognized that when he refused the Winterville Officer's request to add disorderly conduct to the resisting officer charge.

This entire incident is about a mother, who happens to be a police officer,who took her 10 year old son and his friend to a basketball game and arranged a drop-off with the other mother in Winterville. The two children played while their mothers talked. A Winterville Officer arrived and determined that nothing illegal had taken place. Then Officer Pittman exercised her constitutional rights and got arrested in front of the two children. Later, when the grandmother came to get Officer Pittman's child, and was obviously upset, the Winterville police felt it necessary to document what she said as well. Officer Pittman violated no laws and it is a sad day when a mother gets arrested in front of her child for her mistaken belief that she would be protected by the United States Constitution. Ms. Pittman's career has been jeopardized and her family's privacy is a thing of the past. We simply ask that the local citizenry keep an open mind and remember that Officer Pittman is entitled to the same presumption of innocence under the Constitution we protects us all."


Previous Story:

A Greenville police officer is facing a misdemeanor charge.

Lukisha Pittman, a five-year veteran of Greenville police, was arrested Sunday night and charged with resisting a public officer after Winterville police say they got a call about a fight in progress at a business.

It happened around 8:40 p.m. in the parking lot of Robert's Welding in Winterville. Police say when they arrived there were two women and at least two children on the scene. According to police, when officers approached the women to ask what was going on, Pittman told them nothing, that the children were just playing.

Police say when they asked for Pittman's name and address for their report, she told them she knew her rights and didn't have to give them her name.

The police report contains narratives from four members of the Winterville police department.

To read the entire police report click on the link at the top of the story.

The report from the first responding officer reads: "Upon arrival, I observed two juvenile males chasing each other around the parking lot. I made contact with two adult females on the scene. I advised them I had been dispatched to the area in reference to a fight in progress and asked what was going on. One of the females, Ms. Pittman, advised the children were playing and there was no fight. After making sure there was no fight, I asked Ms. Pittman and the other female for their names, addresses and phone numbers so I could complete a report due to the nature of the call. At that time, Ms. Pittman became agitated and advised she was not telling me anything because she knew her rights. I immediately contacted Cpl. Holland and asked for him to come to my location. I advised her again I needed her information to complete my report. She stated she was a police officer and knew that I did not need her information. I asked Ms. Pittman to show me some identification but she refused. I advised her that if she was a police officer she should know I needed her information to complete a report. She advised that she was a Greenville Police Officer and they didn't take a report if no crime had been committed. I advised her that regardless of how they do reports in Greenville, in Winterville we have to do a report for every call we respond to. Ms. Pitman continued to raise her voice and state she was not saying anything until she talked to a supervisor. I advised Ms. Pittman she needed to calm down and stop yelling several times. I advised Ms. Pittman to stay where she was and went to speak with the other female. While I was walking to the other female, I observed Ms. Pittman trying to enter her vehicle through her driver's door. I walked back to Ms. Pittman and advised her to stay out of her vehicle. Ms. Pittman opened her driver's door and tried to get in. I placed my hand on the door and shut it, again telling her to stay out of her vehicle. Ms. Pittman yelled that I could not tell her to stay out of her vehicle. Ms. Pittman started to walk away from me towards the rear of the vehicle and yelled for me not to touch her. I advised Ms. Pittman to lower her voice. Ms. Pittman walked to the passenger side of the vehicle and attemped to enter the vehicle. At this time I placed Ms. Pittman in custody for failing to follow instructions."

The corporal who was called to the scene wrote this in his report: "I spoke to the suspect, Ms. Pittman. Ms. Pittman asked what she had done wrong and why she was being arrested. I advised Ms. Pittman she was being held for resist obstruct and delay. Ms. Pittman got loud again and stated that she didn't do anything wrong and she didn't have to give any of her information to the officer because no crime had been committed. I advised Ms. Pittman that Officer Hignite was dispatched to the location for a fight in progress and that he needed her information for the report. She stated that she didn't want to give out her information because she didn't want it on the news and that Ms. Pittman also stated that she didn't want to give out any information until she spoke to the officer's supervisor. I advised Ms. Pittman that I didn't have to be the scene for her to give her information to the officer."

A female officer who was with Pittman in the booking room wrote this in her report: "While I was in the booking room, Pittman contacted her supervisor via cell phone. Pittman stated she wanted to let him know she was under arrest and to make sure she had a job tomorrow. She stated she was not coming in to work tomorrow. Pittman stated she wouldn't give him her information and Officer Hignite hit her and then put her under arrest. Pittman told her supervisor she didn't know what the exact charge was. Pittman stated she would try to call him back when got a chance."

Winterville police originally told WITN Tuesday morning Pittman claimed she was being unnecessarily questioned because of her race.

But Tuesday afternoon, Winterville police told WITN News Pittman did not mention race. The police chief told WITN someone else on the scene made a racial remark.

Another responding officer on the scene wrote this in his report: "On the way to my patrol car I heard a lady, who I now know to be Ms. Pittman's mother, make a remark to Ms. Pittman's son. The remark was 'it's going to be okay but this is a white versus black world.'"

After being arrested, Pittman was released on a $500 unsecured bond. The 33-year-old Pittman is on administrative duty with Greenville.

When contacted Tuesday afternoon Pittman chose not to speak with WITN News.


Previous Story

A Greenville Police officer has been assigned to administrative duties after she was arrested Sunday night in Winterville.

Lukisha Pittman works for the patrol division of the Greenville Police Department. Court records show Pittman is charged with resisting a public officer, a misdemeanor.

Pittman has been employed with the Greenville Police Department for five years.


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