Large Student Athlete Complains After UNR Police Call Him "Big" During Traffic Stop

Large Student Athlete Complains After UNR Police Call Him "Big" During Traffic Stop

Two weeks ago, University of Nevada police officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that made an improper turn, nearly striking a patrol car. The five-seat vehicle was occupied by six students, all of whom had been drinking. 

The officers issued all the students warnings and sent them on their way.

One of the students, a football player, later filed a complaint against the officers — because of a comment on his size.

This story seems almost too bizarre to be real, but it illustrates the anti-police sentiment that's infested our nation. Even in a red state like Nevada, media outlets and university administrators are now working overtime to support a false narrative that slanders police officers and kowtow the feelings of hyper-sensitive students.

Here's the full footage from an officer's body-worn camera:

Of the entire 12 minute video, only eight features police interaction with students. Here's a breakdown of those events:

  • 0:40 - The officer stopping the vehicle informs the driver that there are too many people in her vehicle, mentioning that she "scared the crap" out of him when she "swerved at" him. The driver briefly explains herself, but quickly apologizes to the officer.
  • 1:10 - The officer asks the driver "How much have you had to drink tonight." The driver lies and says "nothing."
  • 1:20 - Incredulous, the officer asks the driver to blow on his finger, then says "well, you've had something to drink." The driver admits "earlier, yeah I did." The officer asks her to "start out better" and not to lie to his face. He then orders the driver out of the vehicle.
  • 1:41 - The officer asks how many occupants are in the vehicle. The driver, not counting herself, says "five." The officer asks how much she has had to drink and she responds with "two glasses of wine earlier." The driver states she is 25 years old.
  • 2:15 - The officer performs a series of field sobriety tests. The driver complies.
  • 2:35 - The officer lists off the number of visible offenses: "You've got open containers [of alcohol], you've got too many people in the car." The driver apologizes again and the officer tells her he's trying to figure out what to do.
  • 2:49 - The officer addresses another officer, directing him to get "at least two" more occupants out of the vehicle, pointing out the cramped back seat.
  • 3:10 - The driver explains to the officer that her friends live nearby. In the background, two other officers can be seen talking to the rest of the occupants.
  • 4:04 - The primary officer asks about the open containers. The occupants claim ignorance, stating it isn't theirs.
  • 4:14 - The officer addresses his co-worker, saying that he's "not gonna go much farther with this [traffic stop]," and to "just get them outta here," likely due to the polite and compliant nature of the driver and her passengers.
  • 4:17 - The officer asks who will be walking. Several people raise their hand, including a large student. The officer jokes, saying "holy sh-t, I'm glad you're not fighting, you're too big for me!" Everybody laughs, including the student being addressed.
  • 4:25 - In the background, one of the officers continues joking, saying something along the lines of "I'm gonna shoot him instead, f-ck that." The audio is not completely clear at this point due to the continued laughter.
  • 4:35 - ID cards are handed back to their owners. The driver and occupants are informed they are free to go. One of the passengers expresses his appreciation and thanks the officer.
  • 5:04 - The officer shares a story of another traffic stop from earlier in the night, where a drunk passenger vomited on her friend. The whole group chuckles.
  • 5:15 - The officer says once more "well, you're free to go, but you can't put that many people in the car." He walks back toward his patrol vehicle, joined by the other two officers.
  • 5:20 - The officers congregate near their cars and talk about other stops. One of the officers mentions the large student from 4:17. He learns that the student is a football player. He comments that the student is "f-cking huge," more in awe than anything else. They briefly discuss the student's football career so far.
  • 6:40 - The previously-stopped vehicle has not yet departed, so the officers go back over to see what's wrong. The driver has lost her phone. The officer says 'here, use this' and gives one of the occupants his duty flashlight to help them look.
  • 7:00 - As the students continue looking for the lost phone, the officers chat about football. One of the students joins in.
  • 8:20 - The driver, unable to find her phone, thanks the officer and hands him back his flashlight. The officer tells his co-worker he wants a cup of coffee, who responds that he has one but hasn't had a chance to drink it yet.
  • 8:47 - The driver and her friends give up looking, thank the officers once more and depart. The remainder of the video is the officers chatting.

In essence, these officers stopped a vehicle for an improper turn, having too many occupants and open containers. They let all of the students go with a warning and even went above and beyond to help them look for a lost item.

Despite their actions, one of the officers has been placed on leave because a student decided to be offended at a passing joke he made.

Director of University Police Services Adam Garcia released a statement earlier today regarding the complaint:

Two University Police officers conducted a traffic stop early Sunday morning in which inappropriate and offensive comments were made to a University graduate student by the officers. The comments were captured on a body camera.

I have seen the video and I find the language that was used to be disturbing, offensive and unacceptable. I condemn this reprehensible language, and again, offer my sincerest apologies to the graduate student for what occurred.

I am deeply concerned about the distress that was placed on the graduate student. I commend the student’s courage in reporting this incident, it was a brave thing to do. I’ve spoken personally to the graduate student, as has University President Marc Johnson. Both President Johnson and I have personally apologized to the graduate student for the comments that were made.

University Police and the University’s Title IX Office are investigating, following our personnel policies and procedures, and we are moving quickly to determine our most appropriate action. One of the officer’s has been placed on administrative leave and is not on campus.

The words that were used during the traffic stop are deplorable and have no place in the important interaction that must occur between members of our community and our Police Department. At a time of heightened fear and anxiety throughout the country and on campus, the impact of the statements was further compounded.

In an effort to be open and transparent, the University is releasing the video.

In twelve minutes of video, all people can do is focus on 12 seconds. Media coverage on this incident has hardly been fair, with one outlet showing only a snippet of the footage and others completely omitting it.

The complaining student has been identified as Kevin McReynolds, who apparently made his complaint the morning after the stop took place. You would think from Garcia's statement that McReynolds was some sort of war hero who'd been brutally wronged. What exactly was so brave about his complaining on police officers that did nothing but help him and his friends that evening?

Amazingly, McReynolds and his father have managed to twist the incident to fit a racial narrative.

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Kevin McReynolds Sr., 61, said his 24-year-old son, Kevin Jr., is the graduate student in the video. He said his son told him about the incident, and his initial reaction was disbelief.

“No police officer is that idiotic,” he said. “And then I saw the video.”

...

McReynolds Sr., reached by phone Wednesday afternoon, was curious whether the officer in question was paid while on leave or would return. His son couldn’t be reached for comment.

The comments and video come amid increased scrutiny of police shootings of civilians, specifically black men. Former UNR quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked a wave of protests throughout the National Football League when he knelt during the national anthem last year in protest of police brutality.

McReynolds Sr. said he was baffled an officer would make comments about lethal force, even jokingly, to a black man during a traffic stop. The remarks, he said, were disturbing, particularly in a social climate of protests against police brutality. Police should be more sensitive while interacting with black people, women and LGBT people during traffic stops, he added.

“I’m scared and fearful for my son,” he said.

McReynolds Sr. questioned whether police would’ve made similar comments if his son, who is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 300 pounds, were white.

“Just because you’re big doesn’t mean you can’t die,” he said.

His son played football at UCLA, where he received a bachelor’s degree in political science and government in May 2015, and played the sport at UNR while pursuing his master’s of business administration degree. He’s set to graduate in May, his father said.

McReynolds Sr. said he is proud of his son, noting he has high aspirations and runs his own business.

“It could’ve been snuffed out in a moment,” McReynolds Sr. said.

It's thanks to race-baiters like McReynolds and his father that our nation continues to be divided. The war on cops rages on.

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