EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Did Evansville Police go too far responding to a reported incident in a parking lot this week?
That’s what the lawyer for a woman briefly taken into custody claims. But police are defending their actions during and after the incident.
“There’s a way to do things and a way not,” said Attorney David Mour, who is representing the woman he identifies as La’Tasha Tyler. She was taken into custody as police responded to a report of a gun being pointed at someone at the G.D. Ritzy’s parking lot near Eastland Mall. Mour says officer’s response, which included putting his client in handcuffs, was over the top. He says she was unarmed, and is seven months pregnant.
“I get the police have to be safe, etc., but I submit to you that if this were a caucasian lady that was seven months pregnant, I doubt this would have been handled in the same manner,” Mour said.
Police responded to the call on Monday, but did not find a weapon and no charges were filed against her. They also responded to what turned out to be a false alarm at the Normandy Arms Apartments. The department posted body cam video and the 911 on its Facebook page, but Mour asked city officials to take them down.
“I said, ‘Well, if I put something on my Facebook page, which is private, a few people may see it. If the Evansville Police Department post something, thousands and thousands of people are potentially going to see it,’ and it’s a different optic and a different look,” he said. City officials declined his request.
“What they did in the video was textbook,” said Sgt. Nick Winsett. He also says the officers actions while responding where appropriate since they were responding to a call involving a weapon, and race was not a factor in how they responded.
“Any time it’s high risk ,we don’t have certain traffic stops for different races, it’s all high risk or it’s not. In this case, it was considered a high risk traffic stop,” he explained.
He adds they posted the body cam and call in response to claims she made on facebook. Mour says he wants to review EPD’s policy and documents before deciding whether to take any legal action.
(This story was originally published on July 29, 2020)