By Jimmy Hyams
After hearing 66 minutes of the Jeremy Banks video captured by the University of Tennessee police department, I ‘m convinced the Vols football player should be suspended.
You can’t say the things he said about the police without some type punishment.
It sends the wrong message.
I don’t believe Jeremy Pruitt is going to suspend Banks. Pruitt has already said he would handle any discipline internally. And he allowed Banks to travel to Florida recently,
Pruitt did say Banks’ “behavior and comments are unacceptable’’ and reflect poorly on Banks and UT. But he also said he is “determined to do what I can to help Jeremy grow up and become a better man.’’
The first step is suspending Banks so he understands the gravity of his actions.
Pruitt must feel he has reason to not suspend Banks. Maybe he sees a person worth salvaging. Maybe he takes into account Banks’ tough upbringing. Maybe Banks has no family to turn to.
Still, Banks should have been suspended.
It’s obvious that when UTPD talked to Pruitt at about 3:30 a.m. Sept. 15, Pruitt was unaware of all the circumstances. He didn’t know about the warrant for Banks and that Banks had a traffic violation in Knoxville, then failed to appear in court, leading to the arrest warrant.
Someone on the UT staff of many should have kept tabs on this.
Banks uses the F-word and the N-word multiple times during the recording. He also threatens and antagonizes the officers.
We asked for reaction from UT athletic director Phillip Fulmer and UT president Randy Boyd or any other administrator and were told they would have no comment.
Here are some Banks’ comments in the video recording while in the back of a police vehicle:
This is directed toward a female intern in the front seat of the police vehicle: “Ma’am, I don’t think you want to be an intern because where I’m from, we shoot at cops. I’m from Memphis, Tennessee.’’
To the intern: “What’s your name? I remember faces, too. What’s your name, intern? You go to school here? You going to see me around. That ain’t a threat. I just want to let you know.’’
“Miss Blondie, you don’t like black men. Cause white man can’t handle you like a black man. … A white man protects with his gun. A black man protects with his hands.’’
To intern: “I don’t think you wanna be a police. Remember what I told you. (Intern: “You gonna shoot me?’) No, I didn’t say anything like that. Don’t (put) words in my (bleeping) mouth.’’
“How y’all UTPD and lock up y’all football players. That (expletive) lame as (expletive).’’
To the officers: “You’re probably not allowed to step foot in the football facility, you heard me? Stop playing. I’m going to make sure of that. Coach Pruitt is gonna make sure of that.’’
“Let me bond so I can get the (blank) away from y’all.’’
“What would you do without that badge? You wouldn’t want to see me without that badge. .. It ain’t a threat at all. Ain’t no promise, either.’’
“Y’all wanna be police … here, it’s lame. Go to Memphis and be a police. Y’all gonna (poop) on yourself every day.’’
“Y’all police nice as hell, never met police nice as y’all.’’
“I bet y’all so happy. Y’all get home to see your kids every day. Sometimes officers don’t make it home to see their kids.’’
“I should have ran and test y’all speed. Y’all never catch me. Next time I am (going to run). I promise you that. Y’all slow as hell. You need to run some more sprints. … “I should have ran, intern.’’
“Y’all too slow. Y’all need black police like Memphis … (Next time) you gonna have to catch me. Y’all see me plenty more times.’’ (Officer says he hopes not.)
He asks for intern for her Instagram account.
“Police do (blanked) up (stuff) anyway because y’all crooked anyway. Crooked ass cops.’’
“Man, I hate cops, bro. Without that badge, you a (blank) and a half.’’
“I ain’t no sucker at all. I’m a street (N-word). I just play football for Tennessee.’’
“You having fun doing this? Y’all don’t get paid enough for this (bleep). Y’all don’t get enough support either. Y’all be in Knoxville, Tennessee.’’
“If I take off running, you’re not gonna catch me. … Y’all country ass folks.’’
“Miss Blondie, I got a hair stylist that’ll do your hair for free because I’m Jeremy Banks.’’