Police investigate officer's slapping of suspect

July 9, 2002 | Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN)

 | Page: 11 | Section: Metro/Region

346 Words 

Internal Affairs detectives with the Chattanooga Police Department are investigating an incident of alleged excessive force captured on videotape by an amateur cameraman, officials said.

But department officials said Friday's incident, in which a police officer slapped a suspect, was prompted by a suspected car thief spitting on police and paramedics.

"Yes, we used force, but it wasn't excessive force," department spokesman Ed Buice said. "Excessive force begins when resistance stops."

Police said a videotape from WTVC Channel 9 clearly shows the suspect, Carol Annette Rogers, 32, spitting on a paramedic, then preparing to spit on Officer Justin Kilgore.

"The paramedic looks down, extends his arm to hold the woman away from him, and then she purses her lips in preparation for spitting on the officer directly in front of her," said Officer Craig Joel, police department spokesman. "(The officer) slaps at the top of her head with an open hand to direct her head away because he didn't want to be spat on."

Ms. Rogers was placed facedown on a stretcher to prevent her continued spitting on paramedics and police, Officer Joel said. Her actions continued all the way to the emergency room, he said.

"Besides it being a revolting and disgusting act, this is also the age of AIDS and hepatitis," Officer Joel said. "Being spit upon is not a part of our jobs."

Police said Ms. Rogers stole a truck on Friday, then crashed the vehicle into a house in the 2500 block of Taylor Street.

Police said charges of auto theft, resisting arrest and assault are pending against Ms. Rogers, who is in fair condition at Erlanger hospital.

Steve Hunsicker, Channel 9 news director, said police contacted the station around 2 p.m. Monday and requested a copy of the tape. He said the entire three minute tape was to have been aired Monday night.

"The police can get a VCR and record it," Mr. Hunsicker said. "What we don't give out is unaired material."

Officer Kilgore is a recent graduate of the Police Academy, Officer Joel said. Officer Kilgore remains on duty while Internal Affairs detectives conducts their probe, police said.

E-mail Dick Cook at dcook@timesfreepress.com

Post a Comment