Councilman Johnson talks about arrest

July 2, 2010 5:17:22 PM PDT
For the first time since his arrest, Houston City Council Member Jarvis Johnson is speaking out about what happened. Surrounded by staffers and his wife Charlene, Johnson faced the media inside his Phoenix Foundation headquarters. It's the first time he's been seen in public since his arrest Wednesday night on charges of evading arrest after police say he refused to pull over for a traffic stop for several blocks.

"I want to be very clear on the night in question," Johnson said. "I am not going to talk about the details, but I certainly want to let you know that at no time -- I know there has been some questions -- that I ever exited my car and run. ?I did not, never exit my car and run. ?At no point, did I ever speed away from the officer and at no point was there any physical or verbal confrontation at that time."

Johnson did not answer questions, but did confirm that Candace Hurt, his secretary, was in the car with him that night. He wouldn't say where they were going, other than it's not unusual for council staffers to accompany an elected official to events after hours.

"I also want let it be known that I support the Houston Police Department 100 percent in the jobs they have done, in the city of Houston," Johnson said.

"The officer was doing his job. ?Certainly, I concur with the fact that his job was being done. ?I have nothing bad to say about the office, nor will I get into a he-say-she-say match," Johnson said. ?

"I truly believe in the process and believe that the process will work," he said. "God willing, I will keep continuing my prayers that in the end we will prevail, because justice will be served and the truth will be told and I really believe in the end that the truth will come out and recognize that I will be exonerated of any of the charges that have been made against me."

Sources tell Eyewitness News that Johnson reportedly told police that he didn't stop for them because what he was in the process of doing took priority over the officer wanting him to stop.

Council Member Jolanda Jones says her focus is on Johnson's children, and his wife Charlene.

"I'm just going to pray for my friend that everything is going to work out because she's caught up in this even though she had nothing do with it," said Jones. "I just want everything to be OK."

As for Johnson, when questioned about his job, he simply walked off. He did not take any questions from the media, including whether or not he would recuse himself from any city council votes related to the Houston Police Department.

Neither Johnson nor the mayor have said whether he will stay on the job as normal at City Hall.

Stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for the latest on this story.


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