By PoliceOne Staff
TAYLOR, Mich. — Video footage cleared an
officer of any wrongdoing after a Facebook post accused the LEO of
assaulting a panhandler.
The News Herald reports
that the officer’s supervisors reviewed dash cam footage of his
encounter with the panhandler and found that he did nothing wrong. On
Jan. 10, a Facebook post accused the unidentified officer of assaulting a
man panhandling near a highway.
The post alleged that the officer took the man’s coffee cup and threw
it into the roadway before shoving the man against a vehicle and
removing his coat in the cold weather. The post, which has now been
deleted, included a photograph of the officer talking to the man.
But dash cam video
shows the entire exchange between the officer and the panhandler. The
officer was questioning the man and later found out that he had an
outstanding warrant from another state.
The video shows the officer telling the man put his hands on
the hood of his patrol car so his hands would be in clear view. The
footage proved that the officer followed department protocol and never
touched the man or his possessions.
“We take complaints seriously
and complete detailed investigations about them, as we did in this
incident,” Police Chief John Blair said. “Upon speaking with our officer
and reviewing his in-car camera, we find these allegations to be
completely false and unfounded. The video clearly shows the entire
encounter and at no time does the officer take a coffee from the
individual, throw him against our police car, dump out his backpack, rip
off his coat, or dump his belongs on the ground.”
The post was removed several hours after it was posted.
Rick Sollars urged residents to not rush to judgement on unverified
claims posted on social media. He said that trust needs to run in both
directions from police and the community.