College Basketball

Former Duke star Nolan Smith tweets: Durham police pulled gun during traffic stop

Nolan Smith
Nolan Smith

Former Duke men’s basketball standout Nolan Smith is back in Durham this week for the annual K Academy college basketball fantasy camp.

But early Thursday, Smith, a starting guard on Duke’s 2010 NCAA championship team, took to Twitter to describe a nightmarish experience with Durham police.

“The encounter I had with the police tonight … Guns drawn, yelling, no questions asked. … Smh. … What’s really going on?” was posted on posted on @NdotSmitty, Smith’s official Twitter account, at 12:46 a.m. Thursday.

“Yes I have 4% Tint. … But I rolled the windows down right away. … And showed them I was harmless. They didn’t care. Guns were out. … Wow,” @NdotSmitty posted eight minutes later.

And one minute after that, @NdotSmitty posted: “Soon as they relaxed and asked questions. … They became fans. … Chill you not getting a autograph now, you just pulled a gun on me.” He added “Smh,” Twitter shorthand for “shaking my head.”

Police acknowledged that officers pulled over a Chevrolet Tahoe at 11:23 p.m. Wednesday after trailing it for several blocks along Morreene Road, a heavily traveled road near the Duke campus.

Police stopped the Tahoe, they said, because the windows were tinted.

Two officers approached the vehicle, according to a police account of the incident, one on the driver’s side and one on the passenger side. One officer unholstered his weapon as a safety precaution because officers were not able to see into the back of the vehicle, which was heavily tinted, according to the Durham police account.

Officers issued Smith a warning ticket for a tint violation, police reported. In North Carolina, vehicles are not supposed to have windows that block out more than 35 percent of the light. If the Tahoe windows were 4 tint, that would be beyond the legal limit.

Efforts to reach Smith were unsuccessful.

Police said late Thursday afternoon there was no record of a complaint filed on Smith’s behalf, and no video from the stop was available.

Durham police are training to use body cameras, but the practice is not yet part of their day-to-day policing. They had no further comment.

Smith’s Twitter account summed his feelings shortly before 1 a.m.

“The world we living in. … Yes I’m upset so I’m letting Yall know what happened. Cuz it’s real,” @NdotSmitty posted.

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Twitter: @AnneBlythe1