A chaotic video showing Missouri police trying to control a melee that broke out in a gas station early Sunday morning shows one cop shoving a woman from behind after she had placed her hands in the air under orders from another officer.
Questions from local media about that incident prompted the Columbia Police Department to release their own body cam footage of the shoving incident along with a press release explaining they had to shove her in the name of safety.
Specifically, they accuse the woman of trying to block officers from arresting a man who had just fired a gun at another man.
But their own video shows the woman was telling the man to get down on the ground, even using one of her hands to guide him down.
In fact, the woman appears to be trying to protect him from being shot and killed as at least one cop is aiming his gun at him as you can see in the screen capture above.
Both videos, the one from a citizen, the other from the body cam, are posted below to allow you to judge for yourself.
However, Columbia police only released a minute-long portion showing the shoving incident, but not of the shooting that had taken place seconds earlier.
Police say one man, Spencer Ervin, fired his gun at another man moments before the shoving incident. They also say the shooting victim disappeared from the scene, so they are not even sure how seriously he was shot, if he was, indeed, shot.
Here is how Columbia police explained it on their Facebook page:
Yesterday evening, the Columbia Police Department issued a press release regarding a large disturbance that occurred early Sunday (3/19/17) morning at 1704 N. Providence Road, I-70 Eagle Stop. Four people were arrested following the incident, with the potential for more arrests pending.
It has come to our attention that a bystander from the incident has released cell phone video to local media outlet(s) portraying a woman being pushed by a Columbia Police officer during the incident. Additionally the video shows that same officer deploying OC spray. The video can be found here – http://www.abc17news.com/…/four-arrested-after-la…/405085727.
This video has raised questions from a media outlet about the responses to resistance used during the incident. All responses to resistance are reviewed through an officer’s chain of command, and any complaints that may result from this incident will be investigated by the Internal Affairs Unit. In order to provide a more complete account of the incident in question, we are releasing an officer’s body worn camera video containing the portion of the incident that was portrayed in the cell phone video. The video can be found here – https://youtu.be/lx3–h8PmgQ.
The body worn camera footage begins just after Spencer Ervin (seen in the red shirt) fired a gun at another person. Officers quickly move to apprehend Ervin who dropped the gun and was standing behind the woman you see being shoved in the cell phone video. Officers give directives to the woman to move out of the way. The woman appears to be preventing officers from taking Ervin into custody. Ervin appears to ignore officers’ commands to see his hands. Officers direct Ervin to get down on the ground which he complies with. The woman continues to ignore officers’ commands and is subsequently pushed out of the way so officers’ could take Ervin into custody. Ultimately, the woman was obstructing officers from taking Ervin, who had just fired a gun at another person, into custody. Further, the body worn camera footage shows subjects continuing to approach officers after Ervin is detained. Officers are observed establishing a perimeter around Ervin and the evidence. Officers gave lawful directives to the subjects to disperse. When the subjects refused to do so, officers deployed OC spray.
“It’s important to look at the situation as a whole. Incidents like this have many factors to take into consideration, and often multiple videos to review. That is why it’s important to hesitate before drawing any conclusions about circumstances portrayed in things like cell phone videos,” says Deputy Chief John Gordon.
This body worn camera video will be the only video released at this time. As aforementioned, the investigation in this large disturbance remains on-going.
Below are the two videos. With all those cops there, we wonder how the shooting victim was able to slip away.