“Do you know who I am?” almost never works when it comes to getting out of trouble with the cops.
“Do you know who I know?” works even less.
And when you’ve just rolled your vehicle into a ditch while driving with more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in your bloodstream, according to police, it’s pretty much a guarantee neither tactic will get very far.
But as numerous videos last week showed, a Michigan state lawmaker tried variations of both while being arrested after a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 96 — including threatening to call Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the officers taking him into custody.
BREAKING: Dash cam released of Democrat Rep Jewell Jones resisting arrest, threatening to call Gov Whitmer. He had just driven drunk into a ditch pic.twitter.com/8jndId62sp
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) April 25, 2021
The arrest of state Rep. Jewell Jones took place about 6 p.m. on April 6 near Fowlerville, a town about 30 miles from the state capital of Lansing. Jones crashed his SUV into a ditch, according to a state police report published by WDIV-TV in Detroit.
A female passenger required medical assistance from an ambulance that responded, according to the Detroit Free Press, but Jones was apparently uninjured.
“The male subject appeared to be highly intoxicated. There was a strong odor of intoxicants coming from him and his speech was slurred as he spoke. His eyes were red bloodshot and glassy and his fine motor skills were poor,” the report said.
The third-term Democrat, the minority vice chairman of the state House’s Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee, did not take kindly to being taken into custody, according to the report.
He refused to provide a driver’s license despite repeated requests and forcibly resisted arrest, the report said.
And though he was reluctant to provide a driver’s license, Jones clearly had no problems during the encounter telling the arresting officers Who He Is and Who He Knows.
“It’s not going to be good for you, I’m telling you. I run y’all’s budget, bro,” he said at one point.
At another, he dropped the name of Whitmer, calling her simply “Gretchen.”
“I don’t give a f***, bro, when I call Gretchen I’ll need y’all IDs, badge numbers, everything,” he said.
And it wasn’t just the governor. According to a report from WXYZ-TV in Detroit, Jones also dropped the name of Col. Joseph Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police. (Jones, of course, called him “Joe.”)
Check out the WXYZ report here:
None of the friends-in-high-places ploys worked, though. Jones is charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, reckless driving and resisting arrest, according to the state police report.
Because police found a loaded handgun in the cupholder of Jones’ SUV, he was also charged with possession of a handgun while intoxicated, according to the report.
Viewers on Twitter had plenty to say about the arrest — including some who questioned whether the police use of force was too much, too soon.
But quite a few others simply mocked Jones and the modern Democratic Party he was representing so well — intellectually incoherent, belligerent, contemptuous of the law and thoroughly convinced of its supreme importance:
Good job Michigan! A representative “ serving the community “ drunk driving riding around with weapons fighting police officers. Great person
— Amante Creek (@AmanteCee94) April 26, 2021
Any democrats going to hold him accountable for his behavior? I always hear that but never see it.
— Robert (@PhantomHRGlass) April 25, 2021
Yo. I’m trying really hard not to laugh. ? This is why I can’t take some of these “woke” leaders seriously. Those egos swell once they get into office. Their level of emboldenment increases and they think they’re invincible.
— K. Wick (@kansas_kwick) April 25, 2021
He was identifying as sober.
— ??Florida Man?? (@FLoGr0wn) April 26, 2021
At an April 16 arraignment via Zoom, according to WHMI-FM, Jones’ attorney said he must be presumed innocent, as we all must be when faced with an accusation. (That’s a little bit of Americana the vultures of cancel culture might want to consider believing in again.)
Jones is a member of the National Guard. He is also an auxiliary police officer in Inkster, Michigan, as well as a church deacon, attorney Al Hammoud said, according to the Free Press.
“Rep. Jones will continue to faithfully serve,” Hammoud said, the Free Press reported.
Maybe he will, maybe he won’t.
At 26, Jones is still a young man, but he’s old enough to know better than the behavior this video shows. Regardless, there are several lessons he should have learned here.
First and most importantly, drinking and driving is a bad idea, and drinking with a reported 0.19 BAC is a disaster waiting to happen. Instead of a nationally embarrassing arrest, Jones could be guilty right now of killing only God knows how many people on a drunken ride on the interstate, with a loaded weapon at hand.
But he should also have learned that dropping big names in low places is a really bad idea, too.
And when one of those names is “Gretchen,” as in Gretchen Whitmer, it’s spectacularly bad.
This is a woman, after all, who ranks with fellow Democrats Andrew Cuomo of New York (facing impeachment) and Gavin Newsom of California (facing a recall election) as one of the most criticized chief executives in the country.
If he wanted to impress someone, even in Michigan — or especially in Michigan — Gretchen Whitmer is likely not the name to do it.
Even a Democrat should know that — no matter how drunk he might be.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.