Tennessee linebacker Jeremy Banks placed a call to his coach Jeremy Pruitt after he was arrested on the UT campus in September.
Banks was pulled over on Sept. 15 after making a U-turn. University of Tennessee police then discovered that he didn’t have his driver’s license because it had been suspended and there was also a warrant out for failing to appear in court on a citation for driving with a suspended license from July.
Banks was arrested after that discovery. He then asked to call Pruitt and, as police prepared to drive him to the Knox County Detention Center, told a woman on a ridealong in the back seat of the squad car that “Ma'am, you don't wanna be an intern because where I'm from we shoot at cops. I'm from Memphis, Tennessee.”
Banks placed call to Pruitt, handed phone to officer
Banks told officers he wanted to call Pruitt and then gave the arresting officer his phone to talk to the man he identified as Pruitt. The conversation that ensued was captured on body camera footage. The footage was obtained by WBIR News 10.
Pruitt asked why Banks was being arrested after he had been pulled over for a traffic stop. The officer told Pruitt that he was obligated to arrest Banks because of the warrant from the state of Tennessee, which Pruitt said he didn’t know about.
“I still don’t understand this,” Pruitt said. “The kid don’t have nobody at home to help him like figure out how to do this and he came to ask how to do it. His grandfather died and we got the people from the state troopers’ office to walk him through how to do it. That’s why I’m kind of confused why he would have this.”
Pruitt then asked the officer if there was a date on the warrant that was out for Banks.
“This is the silliest s--- I’ve ever seen in my life, Pruitt said. “I got it. I understand. I worked at four places and they never had no crap like this except for here. Because the people usually say, ‘Hey, something’s not right here.’”
Pruitt issued a statement on Tuesday. The school also said that Banks’ traffic issues had been resolved.
“Jeremy’s behavior and comments are unacceptable and portrayed himself and our football program very poorly and he understands that,” Pruitt said in the statement. “We will address the matter internally. I’m determined to do what I can to help Jeremy grow up and become a better man. Our team and staff respect our law enforcement and we will continue to educate our players on how to carry themselves at all times.”
Banks apologizes for conduct
Banks became agitated during the arrest when he was in the back seat of the car. He made the comment about shooting at cops to the woman in the back seat as he was waiting to be taken to the detention center. The topic then came up again a few minutes later.
“Police is lame, ma’am I don’t think you want to be a police, you remember what I told you,” Banks told her.
“That you were going to shoot me?” she replied.
“No I ain’t said nothing like that. Don’t put words in my f------ mouth.”
Banks also asked what one of the officers would do without his “badge.” The officer replied, “Wouldn’t be here dealing with you.”
“Y’all don’t want to see me without that badge,” Banks said in return.
Banks issued a statement through the football program on Tuesday and apologized for his actions in the video.
“I want to sincerely apologize to my family, the University of Tennessee and the law enforcement community,” Banks said. “I deeply regret my language and attitude in the video. I have great respect for our policemen and women, and I am embarrassed by my actions that night. That’s not who I am. I promise to be a better representative for the University of Tennessee moving forward.”
Banks’ arrest came two days after he had two interceptions in Tennessee’s win over Chattanooga. The sophomore did not play against Florida on Sept. 22.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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