The Tuscaloosa police had a violent altercation with a group of students that ended in one man getting tasered, thrown to the ground, and beaten with a nightstick. (You can watch all the videos here.) Three people at the apartment were arrested following the incident and the videos have gone viral on social media. The Tuscaloosa Police Department has said that internal affairs is reviewing the videos.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. The Tuscaloosa Police Were Called to the Apartment Following a Loud Music Complaint And Tensions Escalated Quickly
The altercation happened after a loud music complaint was made around 3 a.m. about an apartment at 12th Avenue Place Apartments on Frank Thomas Avenue near Buffalo Phil’s in Tuscaloosa, AL.com reported. The videos show the police standing in the door, announcing that they are responding to a noise complaint. The students then questioned if the officer has the right to search the apartment or if they are being detained, The Crimson White reported. The students refused to exit the apartment and at one point, a student tried to shut the door on the officer. Shortly after, an officer pushed his way inside and appeared to push a student onto the ground.
2. A Witness Said the Scene Was Chaotic After the Students Questioned Whether They Were Being Detained
What happened next was chaotic and hard to decipher, since many of the videos looked dark. But you can hear people in the apartment yelling and screaming about what’s happening. In one video, an officer is told the incident was being videotaped and he replied, “I don’t give a (expletive),” AL.com reported. It appears that at least a dozen officers arrived at the scene for the noise complaint.
3. Videos Show the Officers Taking One Man Outside, Tasered Him, And Then Beating Him With a Nightstick
After the altercation inside the apartment, a video shows the officers dragging two students outside and pinning them onto the ground. The first student was tasered and held his hands up in surrender. The video then shows the officers beating him with nightsticks. You can watch all the videos here.
4. Two Men And a Woman Were Arrested
After the videos stopped, two young men and a young woman were arrested, AL.com reported. A poster on an online message board shared two text messages talking about what happened, including the text pictured above. Because the names and the text message had not yet been confirmed at the time of publication, the names were blurred out of the photo.
The names of the three arrested students have since been confirmed: Brandon Williford, 21, of Tennessee; Matthew Macia, 22, of Georgia; and Caroline Giddis, 22, of Tennessee, WVUA reported. Williford was the student seen being beaten and tased in the videos.
All three students were charged with obstruction of governmental operations. Williford and Macia were also charged with resisting arrest, and Williford and Giddis were charged with harassment. Williford, the student who was beaten and tased, was held on a $2,000 bond. Giddis were held on $1,000 bond. All three have since been released.
5. The Tuscaloosa Police Said Internal Affairs Is Investigating the Situation
The Tuscaloosa Police Department announced that videos of the incident were forwarded to internal affairs. A full investigation is going to be conducted and a statement released by the Tuscaloosa Police Department read, in part:
A full investigation of the circumstances that are depicted in these videos will be conducted and all appropriate measures taken to ensure the integrity of the Tuscaloosa Police Department in serving the citizens of Tuscaloosa.”
Later, the police department announced that three officers involved were suspended with pay, including the officer who used the stun gun, Montgomery Advertiser reported. The names of the officers haven’t been released.