Muskogee Police Chief Johnny Teehee said it was important to release the body cam video from a domestic disturbance call on Sunday.
“We did this for a couple of reasons,” Teehee said. “One is, in my opinion as a police administrator, that’s a perfect example why every community in the country should require their police officers to have body cams. In my opinion, every police officer in the United States should require their city to provide them with a body cam.”
A video of the incident, taken from across the street, appeared on social media that Teehee said alleged inappropriate action by his officers towards Mylania Lacheryl Hamilton, 27. Teehee also said his office became aware of the video on Monday evening and began investigating the incident Tuesday morning.
Prior to approaching Hamilton’s residence, Officers Michael Cook and Benjamin Hudson, seven- and eight-year veterans, respectively, approached the house across the street where the social media video was filmed from.
“The video was taken from across the street and didn’t portray the action that took place,” he said. “When you have a situation that takes place and someone’s videoing from across the road and all they can get is verbal and as they’re narrating their idea of what events are, a lot of times that’s not the case.”
The body cam video shows Hamilton being questioned by police on her front porch. As Officers Cook and Hudson ask Hamilton for her identification, she starts to question them as to why they needed her information.
Once the officers were able to determine Hamilton had outstanding warrants, they told her she was being detained. When that occurred, Hamilton started getting agitated, screaming that she was pregnant and said, “Call the real police, these aren’t real police.”
When the officers tried to place handcuffs on her, she fell to the ground and started banging her head on the concrete porch. She also started screaming, and that screaming could be picked up on the video from across the street. But in the video the neighbor shot from across the street, they could not see her banging her head.
“We looked at everything from the way the officers acted when they went to the first house all the way through the process, and there was no rude, no nothing,” Teehee said. “Officers having body cameras protects the community. What we’ve found since we’ve had those body cams is it protects the officers and the department.”
©2020 the Muskogee Phoenix (Muskogee, Okla.)
Visit the Muskogee Phoenix (Muskogee, Okla.) at muskogeephoenix.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.