The Tuscaloosa Police Department held a press conference today at 11 to address the body camera footage released earlier this morning. The video, released on the TPD Youtube channel, contains over two hours of footage from the Nov. 8 arrest of three students which is now under investigation for suspected use of excessive force.
TPD Chief of Police Steven Anderson confirmed that the three officers placed on paid administrative leave remain on leave, but that they have been continuing to heavily pursue the internal investigation.
“Hopefully in the very near future we’ll have the investigation completed,” Anderson said.
Anderson said that the video’s cuts and jumps from angle to angle are simply due to protecting the personal information of the students in the video, such as birth dates and social security numbers, as well as using multiple body cameras from the officers at the scene. The video, he said, cuts out in the first few minutes as the initial responding officer begins to attempt to enter the apartment due to his camera being knocked loose, but that it’s a feasible assumption that that is where the original video footage would have started.
Anderson also addressed the legality of certain aspects of the event, namely the initial responding officer asking the student to step outside his apartment and then multiple officers then entering the premises.
“Based on what I’ve seen in the video… the individual did not have to exit the apartment at that time,” Anderson said. “Were the officers legally within their right to go into the apartment? Based on what I’ve seen, no.”
Anderson also said that they are taking the investigation as an opportunity to retrain TPD officers.
“We will continue to train officers on different things as we go about this task of investigating the case and also ensure we don’t have any problems like this again,” he said.
The Crimson White will continue to provide updates on this investigation as new information becomes available. Click here to watch the video of the body camera footage.