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Joplin Police Respond to Social Media Outcry After Arrest - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Police Respond to Social Media Outcry After Arrest

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Joplin, MO -

The Joplin Police Department shares its side of what happened during an arrest yesterday that was recorded and since shared on social media.  The video only shows part of the takedown, but some say it still shows excessive force.  

Lacy Goswick, the woman who recorded the video, says there's another aspect to what's happening.

"I guess, since I know him personally, I have some emotions involved," says Goswick.

The man the officer is restraining is Al, a regular visitor to where Goswick works, which is across the street from where Al was arrested.

"He's very friendly," says Goswick.  "He lets the kids pet his dog.  Comes in to all the stores and they give him treats and everything."

But Joplin police say not everyone in the area appreciates Al's company.  According to police, Al is banned from a nearby business and was being confrontational with an employee.

"Officer is giving him commands to stop, telling him what to do, trying to place him under arrest because at this point he already has charges for him from the victim," says Captain Trevor Duncan with the Joplin Police Department.  "An altercation occurs, and the two go to the ground."

"He was yelling that he was hurt, and they were continuing to be rough with him.  That really stood out to me," says Goswick.

"We're being told the suspect threatened bodily harm to someone and we're trying to investigate it, then we hear the suspect yelling at the victim again even though there's a fully uniformed police officer standing there.  At that point, we have the duty to arrest the person in that situation," says Duncan.

Joplin police say this incident is still being investigated.

"There's a fine line.  I mean I'm not dogging the cops for doing their job, but I just think they went about it the wrong way this time," says Goswick.

Goswick says she posted online everything she recorded.  The police officers involved in this incident have not been disciplined.  The JPD says Al was taken to the hospital yesterday and released yesterday without being taken to jail.  He has been cited, though, for disturbing the peace and resisting arrest.

The JPD posted this message and its Facebook page after the incident:

We have received some messages and inquiries about a Facebook post from this afternoon showing some pictures and video clips from an arrest today. The post has been shared hundreds of times. The videos show one of our officers with a suspect pinned on the ground, with the suspect yelling, and other officers arriving on scene. Due to the short clips, there is no clarity about the circumstances leading up to that point. To dispel some rumors and claims, made on the post, we felt it would be appropriate to share a few details of what occurred leading up to the events contained in the videos and pictures.

Today, 1-21-2018, at 1:38pm Joplin Officers were dispatched to a call at 626 South Jackson for a male with a dog inside the business, who was cursing and making threats towards an employee. The caller said the male had previously been banned from the property. When an officer arrived, the male refused to stop while walking away from him and then tried to enter Dollar General, which adjoins the business. As the officer caught up to him, the suspect turned and tried to assault the officer, leading to a short struggle. At about this point, the recordings and videos made by a citizen start, showing the male on the ground, yelling and not cooperating, and the officer trying to maintain control of the suspect’s left arm while waiting for backup.

Anyone who has additional information or video of this incident is encouraged to contact us at 417-623-3131."

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