Officers in Alabama police arrest video identified

AP News
|
Posted: Nov 10, 2015 2:50 PM

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Three officers who were placed on leave after videos showed them using a stun gun and a baton to break up a post-football game party were identified on Tuesday.

Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steven Anderson issued a statement identifying the officers as James Kent, Phillip Champion and Gregory Pimm.

Police were called to an apartment building about a block away from Bryant-Denny Stadium about 3:20 a.m. Sunday because of a noise complaint after the University of Alabama's win over Louisiana State. The building's residents said fans celebrated into early Sunday morning.

The videos, from varying angles, show an officer at the apartment's door, arguing for several minutes with occupants who refuse to exit.

After nearly two minutes of discussion and arguing, officers enter the residence and drag out two young men and a screaming woman. An officer uses a stun gun on at least one of the men; another officer hits him repeatedly with what appears to be a baton.

A police statement identified the three students as 21-year-old Brandon James Williford, of Collierville, Tennessee; and two 22-year-olds, Matthew Gimlin Macia, of Johns Creek, Georgia, and Caroline Elizabeth Giddis, of Collierville, Tennessee.

All three are charged with obstructing governmental operations, Anderson said. Williford is also charged with harassment and resisting arrest; Macia also is charged with resisting; and Giddis is also charged with harassment, the chief said.

Anderson told a press conference that he was disturbed by the video and disappointed by how officers handled the situation.

Police haven't specified the roles Kent, Champion and Pimm each played in the arrests. The officer who responded to the initial call about a noise complaint is an eight-year veteran, the officer who used the stun gun is a 12-year veteran and the officer who used the baton is a two-year veteran, Anderson said.

Tuscaloosa police are expected to undergo additional conflict de-escalation training and Anderson urged patience from the public during the department's internal investigation.

A phone number for Pimm couldn't be found. Calls and messages to phone numbers listed for Champion and Kent weren't answered.