After more than a week's worth of a controversy, ten minutes of video provides a glimpse into an incident between Evansville Police Officer Jasen Clegg and Evansville Firefighter George Madison.
Through a Freedom of Information request filed by Eyewitness News, we have the video of part of the incident at the center of an internal investigation into the officer's actions.
The video comes from a body camera worn by Officer Jasen Clegg. The cameras must be set to record manually.
The video starts after Madison was detained. Clegg had the camera for only a few days prior to the incident last Tuesday. Furthermore, Clegg is one of only two officers who wear these cameras while the police department tests them out.
Police say Clegg's unfamiliarity with the camera and the quick escalation of the alleged incident likely factored into the camera turning on only after Madison was detained.
Furthermore, the cameras come with internal hard-drives and cannot be accessed by anyone other than Internal Affairs. Police say the videos cannot be edited and cannot be tampered with.
While the video starts after Madison was detained, it does show part of the incident that prompted a formal complaint and internal investigation into Officer Jasen Clegg. Clegg is the officer wearing the body camera and cannot be seen in the video, only heard. The other officer seen in the video was not the subject of a formal complaint.
Madison was riding his bike last Tuesday when he ran through a stop sign, narrowly missing an EPD patrol car, according to Central Dispatch's run card. Madison says he waved, as he does to many of his friends on the department.
Officer Clegg and his partner didn't perceive it that way.
"Whether you raised your arm or flipped us off or whatever, that drew your attention to us," the other officer said in the video.
The video goes on to show the two officers questioning Madison as to why he started to make a phone call once officers arrived. Police say it's an officer safety issue because they don't know who's on the other line. Officer Clegg stated in the video that a similar situation had happened to him before where the detainee had called up to 30 people to a traffic stop.
"You were acting fussy," the other officer told Madison. "Why get on the phone and start making phone calls?"
"Because of how [Officer Clegg] came at me," Madison responded. "It really upset me. It's fine. You guys are just doing your job. I appreciate everything you guys do."
A few minutes later, after running Madison's information, officers removed the handcuffs. Their conversation continued. It often became heated and it often became contentious.
"Like every young black man, getting pulled over by police," Madison said. Officer Clegg interjected. "Race has nothing to do with it man," Clegg said. "We're not going to play that card, man. White, black it doesn't matter."
To this day, Madison claims he was mistreated and disrespected and filed the formal complaint last week. But an internal investigation into Officer Clegg's actions came back unsubstantiated.
Near the end of the video, as both parties were set to leave, it was clear both parties were set in their own perceptions of how the incident transpired.
"This matter is done then," Officer Clegg said. "We'll just agree to disagree, man."
Madison was not ticketed or cited. This controversy has been a reminder for the police department of how certain situations can impact how officers are perceived.
"We do a lot of things in the community to build public trust," said Sgt. Jason Cullum. "Unfortunately, when the negative light is cast upon you, those things get forgotten."
In response to the video, George Madison released the following statement.
"The video speaks for itself. Despite the anger, humiliation, and frustration I felt at that moment, I'm proud of how I handled myself. It shows I'm human."
You can view the whole video that has been edited for explicit language by click on the Web Extras tab.