Black Lives Matter leader alleges Moorhead police acted aggressively at traffic stop
Faith Shields-Dixon claims officer Eric Zimmel tried to force open her car door during a traffic stop for a speeding violation.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Faith Shields-Dixon was on her way home on Saturday evening when she was stopped by police by the corner of 8th St. and 12th Ave. S in Moorhead.
Police told Shields-Dixon they pulled her over for a going 44 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour zone.
Shields-Dixon claims they did not handle the traffic stop appropriately.
“This is wrong. This is wrong,” Shields-Dixon said in a live Facebook video she recorded during the encounter.
Shields-Dixon alleges officer Eric Zimmel and the officer he was training that evening approached her vehicle in an aggressive manner.
“And I told him I’ll take my ticket. I’ll take the ticket. He tried to jam my door open,” she continued to say in the video.
Shields-Dixon became fearful of what was going to happen to her and for her own safety, began to record the encounter towards the end of the incident.
“This is the one that opened my car door. This is the guy that harassed me,” she said of Zimmel in the video.
“By then I noticed when I looked up and looked around. There was eight officers,” said Shields-Dixon. “I then started to record because I didn’t know what was going on. Was I going to be arrested for a simple traffic stop? Was I going to be snatched out of my vehicle?”
Shields-Dixon believes the amount of officers there for a simple speeding violation was excessive and unnecessary and made her feel unsafe.
She also feels there may have been an ulterior motive for pulling her over.
“I do believe it is targeted,” said Shields-Dixon. “I wore my Black Lives Matter shirt in my vehicle. I do have a Black Matter sticker on the back of my vehicle. I am very known in this community on speaking up for injustice, being a board member of Black Lives Matter, so they knew exactly who I was.”
Shields-Dixon immediately went to the police department to forge a formal complaint after the incident.
Moorhead PD says it is still in the early stages of examining the complaint, but because these allegations relate to the department’s relationship with the community, they will be releasing their own video from the incident.