LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Video of Loveland police officers detaining a man outside of a Target has gone viral. One video captured by a citizen was posted on social media on Tuesday.
Loveland police published its own version of the call as seen in 7 minute-long body cam video from a responding officer. Their version was edited “with privacy redactions consistent with the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act.”
Police responded to the parking lot on Monday. Target management reported a man “getting into people’s faces: and being “extremely hostile.”
Police tell CBS4 it may have been due to a mask issue. The man reportedly refused to leave, but later walked outside and sat in the middle of the road and blocked traffic.
“All of this is the criminal part that allowed the officer to detain him, until he could confirm the conduct with the store management,” police said.
The video shows the officer get out of his vehicle to approach a man walking away in the store’s parking lot. The officer asks the man multiple times “what’s going on today?”
The man is then seen turning around toward the officer and walking toward him. The officer tells him to “not walk up on me, sir” several times.
The man can be heard saying “you can’t tell me that.”
When the man continues to walk toward the officer, the officer pushes the man away with his hand two separate times. The man stumbled backward after the second push, and fell to the ground. He laid there for a brief moment before the officer tried to handcuff the man.
At that time, two other officers responded and jumped in to help.
The officers appeared to have trouble detaining the man, as he continued to say “you can’t tell me that.”
Officer told the man to stop resisting and to cooperate.
More officers responded. Some were seen hitting the man in an effort to subdue him.
After about three or four minutes of the confrontation, the man was handcuffed.
In a social media post, Loveland police say the man was causing a disturbance inside and outside of the store and refused to leave. They add medical personnel responded to tend to the man.
Police officials say it is not clear if the man was under the influence, and medical personnel said he was okay, so a test was not administered.
A video posted to Instagram shows five officers trying to subdue the man. One officers is seen punching and kneeing the man’s right leg. Another officer is seen taking her baton out, but police say it was used as leverage to help subdue the man.
“It was a very myopic depiction of the event and did not offer any perspective on how or why the officers were arresting him. It is extremely important for the community to know the entire story. It might look excessive, but consider the alternatives,” official said.
The Loveland Police Department issued the following statements to CBS4 Wednesday night about specifics in the use of force:
The officer used force because the suspect did not cooperate and physically resisted the legal direction given to him. The baton was not used to strike; it was used as a lever to pry the suspect’s arm out from underneath him when he refused to bring is arm back. The other officer struck the suspect with his fist on the suspect’s calf. This is a trained technique to distract the suspect without causing injury, allowing the other officers to get his arms under control. In this case, it worked. The suspect did not cooperate with the officer’s direction to maintain a safe distance so low level force was used to bring him into compliance. That is standard operating procedure and happens on a daily basis. Considering the reason the officer was called to the scene, along with the man’s refusal to maintain a safe distance, it escalated the situation to one of a higher level of threat. When the man went down, the officer was correct in taking that opportunity to handcuff him for everyone’ safety. If he had simply complied, there would not have been a conflict.
They also noted officers most often wear masks, but are not required to do so when there’s a potential for conflict because it raises the level of danger toward the officer.