EPD releases body camera footage of teen’s arrest, calls force used ‘justifiable’

Local News

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Police released body camera video of a teenager’s arrest on the second day of school.

WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE

Body Cam Case # 19-17179

On August 8th, Officers were dispatched to the intersection of SE 8th and Gum for a fight on an EVSC school bus. The fight resulted in the driver pulling over and requesting police. Officers arrived and boarded the bus to investigate the call.The students on the bus refused to provide any information about who was involved in the fight. An officer began gathering information from the students in order to document the names of students who were present when the fight happened.While the officer was writing down the names, one of the students switched to the seat closest to the emergency exit. The student lifted the door handle and set off the emergency alarm. He opened the door and jumped out of the bus. He then walked along the side of the bus. He was stopped by a second officer who told him he needed to get back on the bus. The student refused to get back on the bus, stating he was not going to do so and that he was going home. Because the officers had lawfully detained the students while they investigated the fight, the student was not free to leave. The officer took him by the arm and was directing him towards the bus, but he began to pull away. Due to his exiting of the bus and refusal to get back on, officers attempted to place him in handcuffs. The student began yelling “Fuck 12” (anti-police slang) and using racial slurs. Officers tried to handcuff him while he was standing, but he jerked his arms and tried to pull away. Officers took him to the ground and attempted to control his arms and legs. He continued to resist and he was struck in the back 5 times by one of the officers. He was hit with an empty hand in the supra scapula. This technique is taught in the police academy and is approved in the EPD use of force operating guideline. Although he was trying prevent the officers from getting him flat on the ground, they were able to get him onto his stomach and gain control of his arms. During the incident, the student repeatedly yelled “Fuck 12” and refused to remain still. A total of 3 officers were involved in the arrest. There were no injuries reported as a result of the arrest. A cell phone clip that showed a few seconds of the arrest was posted online after the arrest. A narrative was posted online that claimed the student exited the bus while trying to get away from the fight. Body cam footage shows that he was seated while the officer was getting information. Body cam footage also showed he provided the officer with a false name and birthdate before opening the emergency exit and jumping off the bus. The student was placed at the Youth Care Center on charges related to his arrest. Body cam footage of the arrest is being released to the public. Due to the age of the people in the footage, redaction software was used to blur the faces of the all of the students on the bus. Per EPD policy, a supervisor was called to the scene to begin the review process for the use of force. Based on the totality of the circumstances, the force used was ruled justifiable. Body cam footage case # 19-17179

Posted by Evansville Police Department on Friday, August 9, 2019

Police were responding to a school bus fight, when they said a student got off the bus and resisted.

On Friday, the Evansville Police Department is standing behind its officers’ use of force.

The department released more than nine minutes of video, showing the body camera perspective of the involved officers.

The fight happened after school Thursday.

The bus was at Southeast 8th and Gum Streets.

While officers were investigating, police said a 14-year-old student gave a false name and then jumped out of the emergency door in the back.

Officers told the student to get on the bus, but the student refused and said he wanted to go home, police said.

When officers attempted to place him in handcuffs, police said he pulled away.

Police said its officers used techniques taught in the academy while taking the 14-year-old down and getting him in handcuffs.

The student was taken to the Youth Care Center.

Police said the force used was ruled justifiable.

Eyewitness News reached out to the student’s mother for comment, but we are waiting to hear back from her.

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(This story was originally published on August 9, 2019)

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