By: Matt Galka
September 27, 2013
Tallahassee, FL – A use of force expert believes that Tallahassee police officers were justified in the way they subdued a woman during a drunk driving arrest last month.
The Florida Police Benevolent Association is the union that represents Tallahassee police officers. They used one of their experts to analyze the startling video of Christina West’s D.U.I. arrest that surfaced earlier this month.
The F.P.B.A posted a video of Force Matrix expert James Diamond and his thoughts on the video of the arrest. Diamond is the Director of Operations for the West Central Florida P.B.A.
The union slowed down and zoomed in on footage of the incident. Representatives from the union say you can see West kicking at the officers. The F.P.B.A. says that this level of resistance justified the level of response that the officers took. It’s officially known as a level 3, or physical respnose, but the F.P.B.A. said the officers would have been justified in using more.
“They were absolutely justified in doing what was called a takedown and that’s what they did here, and in fact they would have been justified in going all the way up in the use of chemical weapons, or a taser, using a baton, they wouldn’t have been justified in using deadly force,” said F.P.B.A. Deputy General Council Stephanie Webster.
Christina West’s attorney, Fred Conrad, responded in a statement saying, “For the P.B.A. to take the position that it would have been appropriate and justified to use a baton, taser, or chemical weapons to subdue a 120 pound woman with five officers on scene, in my opinion, identifies the severity of the problem within the department.”
You can view the videos at http://www.fpba.org. The case will be reviewed by a grand jury next month. Meanwhile, the Tallahassee Police Department’s Internal Affairs division continues to review the case.