Wednesday, August 22, 2007

IMPD Officer's Arrest

This issue is likely to ignite a lot of tension between IMPD and the Marion Co. Prosecutor's office in the near future. An IMPD officer, Adam Chappell, has been charged with battery for kicking a 17-year-old male during Black Expo. Police had originally charged the teen from Rockford with public intoxication, battery, resisting arrest and possession of alcohol by a minor, but the prosecutor's office dropped those charges after reviewing the video which shows Officer Chappel kick the teen during the arrest. The FOP is backing Chappel. It is not real clear to me from viewing the video whether the officer's actions were warranted. I would be interested to hear what the other officers at the scene felt about Chappel's actions. If they were telling the prosecutor's office the officer was out of line, then I would fully understand the charge. But based on the video alone, I don't see anything conclusive.

Abdul Hakim Shabazz, who formerly worked for the Illinois Attorney General's office, had a similar reaction after viewing the tape. "I see a rowdy drunk teen and I see several see several officers trying to restrain him," he said. "There may be something on the tape that I'm missing, but I don't see someone intentionally and maliciously trying to do harm to another person, but I do see an officer doing his job." The tape does clearly show the teen mouthing off to police who were trying to arrest him and forcefully resisting his arrest. I think it would be extremely unfortunate if a police officer's career is ruined unnecessarily because a teen-ager from Rockford, Illinois came into town for Black Expo, got drunk, turned rowdy and resisted police efforts to arrest him. I hope the prosecutor's office is relying on more than just that video tape as evidence.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw the video and cannot figure out why that officer is charged with battery. Looks to me like the force used was done to stop the kid from continuing to fight police.

Absent further info, I must call into question political motivation by the prosecutor???

Is he afraid of the so-called "concerned clergy?"

This is the same prosecutor who turns down felony charge after felony charge against criminals....something doesn't appear in order.

Sir Hailstone said...

I just hope that Jury of 12 sees it the same way Abdul does. This isn't an LAPD kind of thing where an officer continually flailed on a suspect after arrest with a nightstick. Not like Officer Chappell tried to do a Vinateri on him and kick him through the uprights.

This really smell political and it stinks!

Anonymous said...

The facts if this case will come in due time. What personally concerns me is exactly why Vic at the Indy Star would choose to turn his front page article of this incident into what I would refer to as 'yellow journalism".

There is no question that the Indy Star has already tried and convicted this officer in the court of public opinion. WHY?

Could politics be a motivating factor here? I would tend to believe it is. It is no secret that rank and file police officers have become quite vocal of their disdain for the Mayor AND the Prosecutor. The general public's concern with rising crime rates has been directed at the Mayor AND the Prosecutor.

I believe that the Mayor working with the Prosecutor have, in effect, used this incident for political gain. They have both effectively silenced disgruntled law enforcement officers AND drawn the public's attention away from the rising crime problem.

I want to know who was running the video camera and what motivated that person to turn that video in.

I'm not going to give the accused officer a free pass on this but there are obvious political factors at work here that could will cause serious problems for law enforcement officers working the streets now and in the future. This thing could cause crime to increase ten fold in this city.

Anonymous said...

I watched the video multiple times. Here's what I saw:

1. You cannot tell if the offending person is a juvenile or adult. If I were an officer, I'd have treated him as an adult because you don't have time to ask for ID/age when you're trying to arrest someone.

2. (If he were obviously a juvey, I'd expect less-harsh treatment...the offender was not obviously armed, and we treat juveys differently because of their age.)

3. An officer in the middle, going between the two guys on the ground, who is so obviously grotesquely overweight he has no business anywhere but behind a desk. Pitiful.

4. An offender on the ground after trying to (mildly?) resist. Three officers on him--he's not going anywhere. He is clearly in custody.

5. The officer in question obviously kicking at the pile of people on the ground--with moderate force, and I cannot tell if the blows landed on the offender or someone else.

6. The officer in question speaking directly to the camera in a slightly agitated voice.

My question is: why did any officer kick anyone, for any reason? The phrase "don't kick someone when they're down" is meant for general society...it's doubly true when an offender is clearly restrained, on the ground, and is not going anywhere.

Whether the tape is conclusive or not, no IMPD officers should be kicking folks. Ever. They have weapons, tasers, mace...and, in this case, sheer numbers.

And one cop who was practically worthless...a walking stroke.

By the by...Brizzi's makeup was streaked. "Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my closeup now."

He's running for soemthing.

Anonymous said...

it's doubly true when an offender is clearly restrained, on the ground, and is not going anywhere.

I doubt the kid was "restrained." No one is restrained unless they are in handcuffs _AND_ leg irons. Even then you have to watch out for one thing, their mouth. Yes, even teenagers and adults bite cops. They actually make bags for these folks, so they can't spit or bite on officers. The processing center has a chain where the sometimes have to tie the really wild folks down. They are totally restrained because they will just go crazy if you let them go.

What I saw was the officer see the suspect with the two officers still resisting. As you said, one of the officers might have been very out of shape. If that is the case, unless this guy lays flat on the kid (squashing him), the kid could easily get away. It is not that hard to escape someone. The more the better, as long as those people know how to detain someone.

Secondly, most of the officers in these incidents are using flex cuffs, which are plastic zip ties..the kind usually used to hold bundels of wire together. While officers do get some training with these cuffs, they don't use them on a day to day basis. As such, when you start using something new, you likely won't move as fast as if you were to use your normal cuffs. I have no idea if the two officers on the ground with the suspect were using metal or plastic cuffs, but it would make a difference.

Lastly, if anyone thinks two against one is somehow that supreme, they really need a reality check. Like I said before, unless someone who is 300 lbs. lays flat on these suspects, they _can_ get away. As officers, you do anything you can to get the suspect. If he is kicking, spitting, etc., you don't stop till they are detained. This does not mean strikes to the head, shooting unarmed folks, etc.. It just means you continue to use whatever physical force is neccessary to make sure the suspect does not do one thing: Grab an officers gun from the holster.

Anonymous said...

All good points, 10:41, but:

The tape I saw, the suspect was clearly restrained on the ground with three officers on top of him. The fat officer was just being a nuisance, walking between the two piles of people on the ground, waiting for God knows what...he needs a desk to jockey, soon, before he strokes out on active duty and becomes a huge disability claim for the city.

The level of training with plastic cuffs has nothing to do with the allegations here. Informative, but not helpful information.

And whatever the level of detention, from loose and wiggling (not) to fully restrained, there is never, ever, any excuse for kicking someone while others are holding the detainee down.

Didn't the officer have mace? Taser? He wasn't reaching for cuffs--no one was--so I had to assume the guy was detained. The arrested officer had plenty of time--and clearance--to pull mace or a taser from his belt, reach down, aim, and hit no one but the detainee.

I want to come down on the LEO's side, really I do.

Trying hard to keep an open mind...but the image of the officer kicking a guy flat on the ground, with three officers on top of him, is hard to overcome.

Thankfully, the injuries don't appear to be major. And in the perfect world, the prosecutor would go ahead and file the charges against the guy anyway.

But it won't happen because of this officer's actions.

I heard this on the radio this morning: is kicking a suspect truly taught at the police academy? I can't beleive it.

Anonymous said...

I have watched the video several times and what the office did was uncalled for. Why does everyone believe that the cops are never wrong. come on people, ever hear of the term "police state". This officer lost his temper and wanted to punish the kid,period. Ask yourself this...If you seen an officer do something unconstitutional or illegal and you tried to apprehend him on a citizens arrest, what would be the outcome? would he let you "restrain" him?

Anonymous said...

If Bart Peterson's reelection was ever in doubt it most certainly isn't now.
This police officer just handed 4 more years on silver platter to him.

Anonymous said...

I tell you what, I've been downtown and had some thugs accost me at the bus stop on Ohio ST. I was terrified and thankful when police came and had a chat with them.

I saw the video, and think that what I saw was just what needed to be done. That thug was in a violent, out-of-control rage! Had he broken loose, he probably would attack an innocent person and hurt them.

Thank you Officer Chappell, for doing what had to be done, in a professional manner.

Anonymous said...

"...what I saw was just what needed to be done. That thug was in a violent, out-of-control rage!"

Really?

From Dictionary.com:

"rage /reɪdʒ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[reyj] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation noun, verb, raged, rag·ing.
–noun 1. angry fury; violent anger.
2. a fit of violent anger.
3. fury or violence of wind, waves, fire, disease, etc.
4. violence of feeling, desire, or appetite: the rage of thirst.
5. a violent desire or passion.
6. ardor; fervor; enthusiasm: poetic rage.
7. the object of widespread enthusiasm, as for being popular or fashionable: Raccoon coats were the rage on campus.
8. Archaic. insanity.
–verb (used without object) 9. to act or speak with fury; show or feel violent anger; fulminate.
10. to move, rush, dash, or surge furiously.
11. to proceed, continue, or prevail with great violence: The battle raged ten days.
12. (of feelings, opinions, etc.) to hold sway with unabated violence.
—Idiom13. all the rage, widely popular or in style."


Notice how all the definitions tend to go to the edge of adjective-land, and use harsh words?

Go back to IndyU. Their definitions fit your mindset better. Common-sense folks don't agree with your definitions.

Make your case for or against the officer, but, in the immortal words of New York US Rep. Charlie Rangel: "Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining."

The detainee showed no rage. He showed massive disrespect, and a lot of anger. Rage? Please.

The officer over-reacted. Criminally? My review of the tape--four times--couldn't convince me it was criminal. It was stupid, and departmental discipline is definitely warranted. But now, a jury will decide.

Which wouldn't even be a point, if the officer hadn't lost his temper. Tough, I know...especially when detainees are spitting at you, cursing you and threatening you.

Rememeber, by the officer's own words, the original reason for pulling this guy ouot of the crowd?

"Flashing gang signs."

Which, I thought, while disgusting, is not criminal.

David said...

It is extremely unfortunate, but Frank Anderson and Carl Brizzi are more than willing to destroy a good officer to score political points with the so-called "concerned clergy."

IMPD's morale is already in the shitter, and I don't know why the politicians think they can continue to abuse the police. There will eventually be a breaking point.

Anonymous said...

Ya know something, David? I know maybe 15-18 LEOs. Some were IPD, some were MCSD. They are all ages, racially mixed, live all over the metro area, and include several females. I think kthey're a diverse sampling.

Not a single one of them spouts the crap I read on IndyU, or that you just posted. Not one.

There was grumbling during the merger, but it was short-lived, and they're on to other things now.

You oughta try it.

Anonymous said...

2:59, Hmmmm..you know 15-18 officers? I seriously doubt it. I know a few hundred and all of them can't stand this "consolidation". Whether you want to believe it or not, the morale at the department is in the toilet. IndyU represents more of us than you care to admit. Instead of recognizing the problem and trying to repair the damage, you, along with the administration, want to pretend that everything is just rosy. I can promise you that it’s not

David said...

2:59, your perfect little sampling of officers probably don't say much of anything to you, because I suspect you're using a pretty loose definition of "knowing" them.

You can believe that everything is rainbows and sunshine if you want, but it just isn't the case. Until we get some new political leadership, the police department is going to keep sliding downhill. For example, Bart Peterson said on the news that he didn't have all the details about the incident, but in the same breath called it "abhorrent." Would you want to face the hazards police officers face knowing that your leaders will throw you under the bus in a heartbeat?

Todd said...

David,

The proof is in the contract vote. Remember how virulently opposed the IndyU crowd was to the contract? Remember how it was approved by the rank and file?

Anonymous said...

3:56, you really have a lot to learn if you're hanging your hat on that contract vote.

Anonymous said...

Todd, a blog like IndyU, doesn't get nearly 60,000 hits a month by just a few disgruntled officers. Do you honestly think its the same 10-20 guys visiting a few hundred times each day?

Anonymous said...

2:59,

Sir or Maam. I know hundreds of officers. Trust me, things are not good. Morale is at an all time low. Officers are leaving at the rate of 6 per month that were not expected. That will only increase as time goes on.


You haven't begun to see bad yet.

Anonymous said...

Well, folks, I didn't say my LEO friends were a perfect sample group. But they are pretty different...and yeah, I do know them well. I suppose it's completely possible that every single one of them lied to me ab out department morale.

I did not say things were all rosy. I do contend that an overwhelming majority of the IndyU crowd is perversely negative, to the point of being marginally efffective. You can't walk around with that much hate and anger and be effective.

And if we cannot judge department morale by a secret ballot contract vote, among other things, just how are we supposed to judge it? By your sterling personality? Take your word for it?

The merger happened. It saves money. Yeah, it needs tweaking, but it's six months old for cryin' out loud. Build a bridge and get over it.

Or find another job. One that appreciates your unique job skills.

Jason said...

Yes, police are trained to kick people. They're also trained to punch, elbow, knee, and use an assortment of other empty and close-handed strikes. The knucklehead had access to several guns, people seem to forget that.

As of January 1, officers weren't allowed to wear soft-soled shoes anymore, the new G.O. stating everybody had to wear boots. Even if Chappell didn't have steel-toed boots on (which most everybody wears these days), let's say he had the softest sole boot on the market. Kicking that kid in the face wouldn't have given him a bloody nose, it would've knocked out several teeth and required reconstructive surgery. I could kick someone in the face with tennis shoes on and do permanent damage. Which leads to a few logical conclusions:

1) he pulled it at the last instant because the suspect moved and he was going to miss, or

2) the whole thing is a sham.

Take your pick.

Anonymous said...

"The merger happened. It saves money. Yeah, it needs tweaking, but it's six months old for cryin' out loud. Build a bridge and get over it."

Yes the merger happened (8 months ago not 6) but there has been nor will there be any savings. The star just did a report on it a few weeks ago and I'd say the recent huge increase in the COIT confirms it.

Tweaking? a major overhaul is more like it. And your bridge was destroyed by this mayor long ago.

Anonymous said...

Who knows the scoop on Bowers and Cherry? What is I.A> doing with them?

Anonymous said...

1:33 You liberals make the rest of us laugh at you!

First, let me use your own leftist logic to make the point. That thug was in a fit of rage in the video I saw.

You say it wasn't rage, then you define rage as "The detainee showed no rage. He showed massive disrespect, and a lot of anger. Rage? Please."

Yo, Dude: you defined rage as "2. a fit of violent anger" Like I said, the thug was in a fit of rage.

Also, did you know that Criminal Gang Activity is a felony?

Anonymous said...

9:50, do I need to show you the definition of "violent" too?

If this kid was in a rage, as you define it, and you are an LEO, I fear for our streets, because when you see real rage, you may think it's nuclear holocaust.

Geeeesh. Get over it already.

Anonymous said...

5:08 I looked at that video and that person who was arrested was in a violent rage. If you say different, I wonder what your standard is? Are you a rage scientist?

My own definition of violent rage was met when I saw that video. The arrestee was not someone I want to encounter downtown...in fact, I'd be afraid of him.

Get over it? No, I, for one, won't get over the fear of someone like that attacking me or another person downtown. That's why we have police, to protect us from them.

We are supposed to have jails for them, too...but I understand Indianapolis has no jail, just a revolving door "Processing Center."

Anonymous said...

5:08 It is the liberals like you that feel the rest of us must tolerate this type of violence! You have a sick outlook if you think we should "get over" the violence of action I saw as that thug was in action fighting the police!

I am not "getting over" it, instead I am outraged that this type of violence is tolerated by anyone!

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, no, I'm not a rage scientist, but if you think that was a violent rage, I hope to hell you're not a police officer. Because your sense of proportion is way out of whack.

He was mouthy, disrespectful, and angry. He was not in a rage.

Again, I'm not sure I want the police officer criminally charged. I'd like to hear more data and facts.

However, one thing has emerged that I find interesting: if our police academy teaches kicking as a defensive move, when an officer is armed with gun, mace and taser, I am a little concerned. When the kick was delivered to this guy, he was clearly under control.

Anonymous said...

5:02 maybe you were watching The Disney Channel...I saw the video of the incident. That thug was not under control, he was violently fighting and trying to cause injury to the police.

Everything I saw was reasonable and NECESSARY to get the violent thug in a rage under control and prevent injury to the police or innocent citizens.

Anonymous said...

-5:02 "However, one thing has emerged that I find interesting: if our police academy teaches kicking as a defensive move, when an officer is armed with gun, mace and taser, I am a little concerned."

I don't think you are at all concerned. First, are you intimating that the officer should have used a gun or mace instead of kicking? What would you have said if the officer pulled out a gun and shot that violent criminal dead?

I think he did what had to be done under the circumstances and that it was proper. I'll tell you what, I live in Indianapolis and I fear someone like that thug accosting me on the street. I'm glad the police are here; they do it for us.

Thank you officer for being on-duty during Black Expo and keeping peace during a riotous situation.

This city has its own version of Atlanta's Freaknick twice a year. It is reprehensible that the city allows Expo and the Circle City Classic. I am not going anywhere near downtown when those riots are permitted to take place.

There may be hundreds of police downtown, but it still isn't safe. People are shot, stabbed and beaten. The events should be prohibited, but for The Machine they would be.