FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York came to the defense of the police department after a YouTube video questioning apparent excessive police force was posted on NewsChannel 15's Facebook page Monday morning.
To see the full video, click on the YouTube link embedded below.
The video shows a police officer grabbing a woman by the neck and then forcing her to the ground while another officer uses a stun gun on her. The audio of the incident itself is not on the video. There is a narrator describing what he believes happened.
NewsChannel 15 spoke with Chief York Monday afternoon about the video. He said that was his first time seeing the video. He also said he does not know the background of what happened before the officer approached the woman.
"I can't say if anything is inappropriate in it," York said.
York said the video was not from a FWPD dashboard camera. He said if it were a true dash cam video, there would be a date, time, and the officer's squad car number at the bottom. York also mentioned that this video was angled to the right, whereas FWPD dash cams are always centered.
York was also skeptical because of the narration in the video.
The narrator claims the video was from September 9, the same night a TRAA ambulance was shot at over 15 times as it was taking a stabbing victim from Pierre's night club to the hospital. Police said the ambulance was shot by men who followed the ambulance from the Pierre's parking lot.
Three people in a different car were also following the ambulance because their friend and family member was the stabbing victim. Latasha Loyall, Dominic Loyall, and Lashanda Cornwell were hurt after the suspects also shot at their vehicle 16 to 20 times, according to police.
York explained that if he sees something that is deemed as inappropriate police behavior, he files a complaint with FWPD's Internal Affairs Unit. Internal Affairs then finds the officers who were involved and watches the cruiser's dash camera video from that incident. The audio from the dash cam also provides insight as to what happened.
York said he is unsure if the police department received a complaint about this video or incident. He did admit he recognized officers in the video.
"There's a story behind this that I don't know," York told NewsChannel 15.
According to York, all officers are required to fill out a "Use of Force" form if:
- A gun is pointed at a subject
- Chemical substance is used
- A stun gun is used
After looking into the incident further, Chief York contacted NewsChannel 15 with more details Monday evening.
York did confirm that the video was from the same night as the ambulance shooting on September 9. It was filmed at the Marathon gas station on the corner of Washington Center and Coldwater Roads.
According to York, the woman was trying to go into a crime scene area because someone she knew inside of the car that was following the ambulance had been shot. The officer told her she couldn't go over there and that's when the incident became physical.
York said the woman was resisting law enforcement and would not put her hands behind her back after the officer asked her to.
York said the officer who grabbed the woman in the video was a FWPD officer. An Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW) officer then used a stun gun on the woman after she was already down on the ground, according to York.
York said the woman was intoxicated. She was arrested at the scene.
NewsChannel 15 reached out to IPFW, but no one was available to comment on the incident.
York told NewsChannel 15 that the FWPD Gang Unit does web searches and would have most likely found this video on YouTube within a couple of days, according to York.
In 1995, dashboard cameras that display video and audio were installed into all FWPD police cruisers to capture everything that happens on a day to day basis. York said these were installed for each officer's protection in case the incident is taken to the Internal Affairs Unit.
York said if the Internal Affairs Department did rule the incident as within the guidelines of appropriate police behavior, this woman could still appeal the case with Fort Wayne's Board of Safety.
NewsChannel 15 tried to contact the woman in this video, but family members said they would be releasing a statement later this week.
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