TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Three Tuscaloosa police officers are on paid administrative leave after several videos surfaced online showing the arrest of three UA students.
Students at the University of Alabama are outraged after a video appeared online Sunday showing Tuscaloosa police officers aggressively arrested several people. Monday at a press conference held by the TPD , it was announced that 3 officers have now been placed on administrative leave. The officers placed on leave include the initial officer responding, the officer using a taser, and the officer with baton.
Officers arrested Matthew Gimlin Macia, 22, for Obstructing Governmental Operations and Resisting Arrest. Brandon James Williford, 21, was arrested on charges of Obstructing Governmental Operations, Harassment and Resisting Arrest. Caroline Elizabeth Giddis, 22, was arrested on charges of Obstructing Governmental Operations and Harassment.
WIAT spoke with Chandler Mathews, a UA senior, who has friends living at the 12th Avenue Place Apartments. She told us that her friend isn’t staying there right now because she’s afraid. Many students are asking why the police would behave this way.
Chandler believes that social media helped get this investigation started.
“Who knows what would have happened if people hadn’t caught the videos and if people weren’t so for figuring out why this happened this way,” Chandler said.
Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson said that they are reviewing a lot of video footage. Investigators have the videos that are circulation online and are also reviewing body camera footage from officers who responded. Chief Anderson said the first officer who responded was wearing a body camera.
“The officer that initiated this contact with these students was wearing a body camera, so we do have that information from his body camera and we know that it was only a couple of minutes after he arrived on scene that this incident occurred,” Anderson said.
WIAT asked Chief Anderson when they would be releasing the first officer’s body camera footage to the public. He said that they are working to get it released as soon as possible.
Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News