- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 11, 2014

Iowa City police have been forced to issue a statement defending its officers’ actions after a YouTube video that’s generated thousands of hits seems to show them pushing their way — without any warrant — into a house party and arresting three.

The video, which spans just over a minute in length, shows several officers with the Iowa City Police Department entering an apartment — while several of those inside the apartment profess that police aren’t allowed to enter, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.

At least one officer even takes his weapon out of its holster, while another reaches out to the person who’s shooting the video and seems to attempt to push the camera, the video showed.

A blog posting on Vote No New Jail summarizes the outrage that’s generated with the police action.

“Putting aside an apparent illegal entry, what infuriates us most about this video is the ICPD’s unhinged, animalistic aggression, including shouting, intimidation with weapons, random, punitive arrests, assault on the person filming the encounter and general use of force where none was warranted,” the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.

Police, however, say they were responding to loud music and a seeming out-of-control party and that the officer who initially entered the home only did so because he was pulled inside, during apprehension of a struggling suspect on the outside of the apartment, KCRG reported. Police also said the video that’s made the social media rounds only shows a partial cut of what actually occurred.

In a written statement posted on the Iowa City Police Department’s website, law enforcement said: “Iowa City Police Officers were … conducting neighborhood patrols when an officer made contact with the occupants … for loud music, loud voices and several subjects on the outside porch. Over the course of this incident, a partial cell phone video recording was made of the interactions between the Iowa City Police Officers and the occupants.”

Police also said the video has resulted in several inquiries to the department about policy and practice.

“At the time of the initial contact, the occupants of the residence refused to respond to the door,” the Iowa City Police Department statement continued. “When the door eventually opened, the occupants denied taking ownership or responsibility for the apartment. During this interaction, [one person] exited the residence and attempted to re-enter the residence. [He] then attempted to close the door despite verbal commands. It was at this time when the video being circulated on social media started the recording.”

That’s when the “officer attempted to stop [him] from re-entering the residence and a struggle ensued,” police said. “[He] continued to enter the residence which then pulled the officer into the residence. The resistive behavior that was initiated outside of the residence then carried over into the inside of the residence. This encounter then required additional officers to respond.”

The police response led to three arrests tied to disorderly conduct, alcohol use and interference with police duties.

The police statement did not address the matter of any of the officers who unholstered their weapons and brandished them at those in the apartment.

http://www.icgov.org/?artID=9948&navID=1318&type=M

Video: https://medium.com/@VoteNoNewJail/icpd-party-bust-7b2516208cde

 

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