ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in Arlington are investigating the use of force by one of its officers. The incident was captured on cell phone video Wednesday night.
In statements posted on their Facebook and Twitter pages, the Arlington Police Department said that officers were outside of a banquet hall in the 1000 block of North Collins Street — called 1010 Collins — where a large crowd had gathered after a teen party was ended at midnight by the hall’s owner.
The banquet hall’s general manager said that fighting started inside the hall. “The teenage party got out of control because of the children. They got in a couple of fights. At that point, our staff did follow protocol. What we did was stop the party and told everybody to go home,” said Edna Tijerina, general manager of the facility.
The fights, which began inside, spread to the parking lot outside of the hall. Police said that they were attempting to “de-escalate the crowds and the fights.”
In the amateur video, an Arlington police officer is seen apparently taking an unknown female forcibly to the ground in a body-slam type maneuver. Also in the video, the crowd is seen reacting angrily and shouting obscenities at the officers.
Five people were arrested, including the girl seen in the video who was slammed to the ground. She was taken into custody for fighting in public and later released to her parents.
The Arlington Police Department released a statement, asking the public to not “rush to judgment” based on what the video shows. The department also said that a multilayer, impartial administrative review process is in place whenever an Arlington police officer uses force on a person. “What we look at: Was there force used? Was it reasonable, based upon the resistance that was being encountered? We can’t see in the video what happened before. We know what the officer said happened, but that’s under investigation,” said Sgt. Chris Cook.
The officer seen in the video has been assigned to traffic duty, and the department will not take any action until the investigation is complete. Police are also asking the public for additional video of the fights for use in their investigation of the incident.
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