It seems to be happening a lot lately, someone standing on the sidelines witnessing an arrest, capturing pieces of it on a cell phone, then posting the clip on social media, where the video content then sparks public outrage.
The latest example of this was a dramatic arrest which occurred in Johnson County, Kansas—where Lenexa Police have come forward to address some pretty harsh accusations against their department.
A 37-second video of an arrest there has the public outraged, claiming police brutality. But officers say they did everything by the book in this case. They also said this shortened clip doesn’t tell the entire story of what happened that day, so they released the dash cam video to local media.
John Harrison was pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. But the stop for that minor infraction led police to discover other violations. The officer noticed drug paraphernalia and an “odor of marijuana coming from the car.” They say Harrison was driving on a suspended license, and he also had 20 warrants out for his arrest, according to KCTV.
Police say when the officer began arresting Harrison for the warrants, things got out of control. He resisted, and didn’t comply with officer’s commands. Police released a photo of the suspect with a cocked fist, and say that image was taken right before Harrison struck the officer in the face.
“You can see the officers acting very professional,” said Lenexa Major Dawn Layman. “They showed great restraint in this video.” While the two officers were trying to get the suspect under control, he continued fighting as they are seen on the ground getting the handcuffs on. During that time, a passenger was left in the car, and officers said they had no idea what he might do or if there were weapons in the car.
John C. Sherman wrote on Facebook that he was in the parking lot of a restaurant when officers pulled “the kids” over for no apparent reason. “I see a cop pulling kids over for bein’ black,” Sherman wrote. “After calling a few of his piggie friends, they tell the driver to get out.”
Video by John Sherman:
Sherman detailed how he thought the officers manhandled Harrison and said he posed “no threat whatsoever.” He would later edit his comments to take out the “piggie” reference and referred to the officers as “cop friends.” He said the cops “pummeled and choked this poor kid” until “blood was pouring from his mouth and he was crying,” according to the report.
But in the video police released showing Harrison in the patrol car, there are no visible injuries, and he is not bleeding. The suspect is seen pounding his head against the cage several times.
Major Layman says they released the video to educate the public and to show people that things aren’t always what they seem.
As for the suspect, he is now facing five charges including aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, and obstruction.