Local Attorney Says He Was Targeted By Police And Arrested

LEFLORE COUNTY (KFSM)- A Poteau attorney is telling his side of the story after he said he was targeted by Panama Police and wrongfully arrested for several charges.

On Nov. 22, Panama police said they saw attorney, Steven Minks walking away from his parked vehicle on Highway 59 about 2 a.m.

The arrest report states that after the officer asked Minks several questions, he continued to walk away.

"I had a flat tire," Minks said. "My tire blew. I asked [the officer] if I had done anything wrong or anything illegal and he said no."

Earlier that night, Minks said he was also pulled over by Pocola Police.

"I don't recall being in any dangerous position," Minks said. "I locked my car, turned on my emergency flashers and I started walking. I got about ten paces from the car and here comes a police officer again."

Police said Minks became agitated and the officer told him he would be detained until he could figure out what was going on with Minks.

In the body cam video, the officer asked, "How many times did I tell you to stop walking?"

"He kept on and kept on and on and I told him to f--- off," Minks said. "I cussed at him because I was frustrated. I shouldn't have done that. I lost my cool because I was irritated, but nothing I said to him was a crime."

Minks said he demanded a breathalyzer test and police denied his request.

"I had not been drinking that night," Minks said. "I was just terrified and nervous just like I am now."

The officer then told Minks he was being arrested for public intoxication.

According to the report, Minks jerked his left arm back to his front while the officer was placing cuffs on him. He was arrested.

The body cam video shows the officer taking two photos of Minks while inside the jail.

"That's not part of the booking photo," Minks said. "These were the officers' personal cell phones."

Minks said he hopes in the end the charges will be dropped, but ultimately said he believes he was targeted.

"If there was some problem with the way my car was parked, [the officer] should have given me a parking ticket or towed my car," Minks said. "That's what I get when I drive around. They know I'm the guy who sues police and they know I'm a criminal defense lawyer who will fight for my clients and they don't like it."

The arrest report said Minks is facing charges of improper parking on a roadway, public intoxication, resisting arrest and obstruction.

Minks told 5NEWS that he plans to fight the charges through a civil rights lawsuit unless the charges are dropped.