Home / Fall 2015 / Tuscaloosa PD accused of using excessive force

Tuscaloosa PD accused of using excessive force

Photo Illustration: Kayla Stroud/THE SPECTATOR

Written by Tresia Bowles, Staff Writer

I’m sick of it. We’re all sick of it. If I hear about another incident involving police brutality I’ll go insane, and I know I’m not the only one. Now the incident in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is just another case to add to the list.

According to The Huffington Post, the Tuscaloosa Police Department received a noise complaint call at 3:19 am from a student apartment complex. The police came to investigate the complaint and then the incident got out of hand, the video cameras came out, and the video went viral.

The video circulating the Internet from the outside of the apartment shows the Tuscaloosa PD using excessive force. According to the video, the officers drug 3 students out of the apartment and threw them of the concrete, and then used a stun gun, and a baton on them with no apparent justification.

Inside of the apartment the video appears to show that the students understood their rights. The students told the officer that he was not permitted to enter without a search warrant and the officers did not present one. All the officer needed to do was ask the residents to lower the noise coming from inside the apartment, but he did not.

According to the video, the officer then proceeded to snatch the owner of the apartment out by his shirt. The second student, a female, at this point was yelling and asking what they had done to be confronted by the police. She was in a state of complete disbelief and crying.

After that, more officers entered the apartment and forcibly directed all three students out and began beating them and tazing them, according to the viral video.

However, due to the source of the video highlighting how the incident took place, it is possible that not everything was documented.

Even with the possible bias in the video there is no excuse for this kind of interaction between police officers and citizens. All three of the officers were placed on administrative leave throughout the investigation, but this hardly seems like enough of a punishment for the use of force that occurred during the confrontation.

There is a proper process for officers to follow when interacting with citizens, and as long as the person accused of committing the crime isn’t putting anyone’s life in danger, they shouldn’t be man-handled. A more direct and calm communication could have helped to deescalated the situation.

Some officers wonder why no one wants to respect or appreciate police authority. These recent events in the media are why.

Luckily these particular officers had body cameras, so, as long as there is footage from the inside preceding the arrest, justice can truly be served.

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  1. I am in another state but i would like to know how this eventually unfolds, if the charges were dropped against the students and were the patrolmen diciplined in any way. I have seen no new information of this incident since the press conference and only hope it has not a situation that is forgotten after the passing of a little time. Please keep me updated on anything new from this investigation.

    • Howlin Mad Murdoch

      From what I can tell, all officers have been reinstated (after being on paid leave), and the most severe punishment the officers received were “training” classes about communication.
      The 3 students, however, are still charged with felonies and await trial.

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