Huntsville police release statement following video of officer kicking arrest subject
City Councilman requests departmental review
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A Huntsville Police Officer was seen on-camera kicking a man who was being arrested at a Mapco on the corner of University Drive and Memorial Parkway in Huntsville on Sunday.
The video has drawn criticism to the Huntsville Police Department since its posting, and a Huntsville Councilman has asked HPD leadership to review what happened.
The mother of the victim, Kemontae Hobbs, spoke publicly with an attorney Tuesday for the first time since the incident.
”I don’t know what happened. Somebody sent me the video and that’s how I found out what actually happened,” said Kimberlyn Hayes, Hobbs’ mother.
The attorney representing Hobbs, Martin Weinberg is representing two other high-profile cases involving Huntsville Police and excessive force.
“We’re hoping that we have a quick and thorough investigation. At this point we don’t have a lot of faith in the police chief and the mayor with their current stand on the Darby case that they’re still supporting and have a convicted murderer on the pay roll. So, this doesn’t surprise us that the culture of Huntsville has gotten to this point,” said Weinberg.
Weinberg says they will be issuing a notice of claim to the city and are prepared to take legal action.
You can watch the video of the press conference below:
The person being arrested in the video, Hobbs, 22, bonded out of jail with the help of community activists on Monday.
The video originated on Facebook Live and was recorded by a concerned citizen named Bruce Turner. Turner was inside the store when police approached Hobbs. Turner says he first heard police struggling with Hobbs at the back of the store, when he went to go check it out he saw Hobbs on the ground with an officer, which is when he began recording.
Turner’s video was reposted and shared by several accounts. WAFF obtained permission from Turner to share his video on Tuesday morning.
Online jail records indicate that Hobbs was charged with resisting arrest and obstruction of government operations.
The City of Huntsville sent a statement on the video and incident Tuesday afternoon:
“The Huntsville Police Department responded to a 911 call placed by a convenience store employee at 905 Memorial Parkway at 6 p.m., on Sunday, May 30. After an officer arrived on the scene and made contact with the suspect, the individual was non-compliant. The officer called for backup. An altercation with police subsequently occurred resulting in the arrest of Kemontae Hobbs, 22, for resisting arrest and obstructing government operations. We have viewed citizen-provided video that partially captures the arrest process. We understand concerns with use of force techniques used in the arrest and we take these concerns seriously. The full incident is under review including all actions taken by officers during the arrest process.”
Huntsville City Councilman Devyn Keith saw the video online, and tweeted that he would forward it to HPD leadership to request a review of the incident.
WAFF followed up with Councilman Keith and he sent us a statement in response.
DEVYN KEITH’S STATEMENT:
“We must publicly show clear examples of our Police and Community interactions (body-cam and video). This footage in my opinion shows positive and negative performances by our officers
A controlled response by a number of our officers. That successfully leads to supporting a fellow officer in detaining a suspect.
Then-actions of another- actions that don’t seem to aide in the detention but rather inflict harm and potentially escalate it in my opinion.
I’ve sent it to the department for immediate review and will follow up personally with HPD leadership”
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