Update: Monroe city councilman stopped twice on same day for traffic violations

Arrested for obstruction on first stop; vehicle towed on second

District 5 Councilman Norman Garrett. Photo credit: Darrell Everidge

Update: MONROE, GA. (April 12, 2022) – Following his arrest on Friday morning, April 8, Monroe City Councilman Norman Garrett was stopped by police again on Friday evening and charged with the same issue that was responsible for his first traffic stop – no working brake or tail lights and removing/affixing license plate with intent to conceal.

In the initial traffic stop, Garrett was also charged with obstruction of an officer, which resulted in the arrest.

According to a press release from Monroe Police Department following the initial arrest, just before 9 a.m. on April 8, officers with the MPD conducted a traffic stop on Garrett driving a 1991 Chevy S-10 pickup truck in the area of Pinecrest Drive and West spring Street for not having working brake lights as well as a damaged, unreadable tag. During the stop, the officer was advised by dispatch that the vehicle registration on the vehicle was listed on Georgia Crime Information Center as being stolen. As a result, the officer asked the driver to exit the vehicle and attempted to detain him “to further investigate the stolen registration.”

“It was at that time, the officer was met with resistance from the driver that resulted in a struggle between the two. Upon the arrival of a second officer, the subject was then able to be properly detained. Walton County EMS was called to the scene to check the subject’s wellbeing from the struggle. The driver refused medical treatment,” Monroe Police Chief R.V. Watts said in a press release.

Garrett said the reason he resisted is he knew that the brake light violation was a misdemeanor and that the tag was not stolen. He said he felt he was being targeted. The officer had attempted to detain him before backup arrived and in the process the officer did release his taser, but it was not successful.

On the second stop, on Friday evening, Garrett was charged for non-working brake lights and for removing/affixing license plate with intent to conceal. At that time the vehicle was towed. There was some confusion about the tag which allegedly was never reported as stolen, but was in fact reported by Garrett as broken. Garrett said the tag on his boat trailer was stolen. Watts said Garrett had received a replacement tag for the truck, but it appeared to have been placed on the boat trailer instead. The broken tag remained on the truck. That appears to be where some of the confusion came in when Garrett was stopped. The officer who stopped him Friday morning was not aware that Garrett was a Monroe City Council member.

Garrett did receive his vehicle back the following day. The videos of the incident will not be made available until after the court hearing, which Garrett said will be on June 2 in City Court. He said he has retained an attorney and will be asking for video copies of the incident.

MONROE, GA. (April 8, 2022)

Monroe Police Chief R.V. Watts confirmed that Monroe City Councilman Norman Garrett was arrested today and transported to Walton County Jail. At 1 p.m. he was no longer listed on the jail roster so he likely has since bonded out.

“He was initially stopped for a traffic violation and that led into him being arrested for obstructing a police officer,” Watts said. “(It was) around 9 a.m. this morning.”

The incident is still being investigated and Watts said more details will follow.

Garrett is the District 5 representative for the City of Monroe and was the Chairman of the Walton County Democratic Party.

Editor’s Note: An arrest or charge does not constitute a conviction.

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