OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — OKCPD officials say the actions of officers who were criticized by several citizens for the arrest of an armed man following a traffic stop are justified.
It happened on Friday at the Taco Bell on NW 23rd near I-235.
“Shortly after I started recording, he pulled his gun on him,” Jackson Holtkamp told News 4.
Holtkamp is talking about an arrest he witnessed and recorded in the Taco Bell parking lot, after police allegedly pulled a man over for driving erratically.
“Put your hands up on top of your head,” an officer is heard yelling on the video.
“Oh, oh. I don’t know what reason he was pulled out of the car,” Holtkamp is heard saying. “What the F*** are you doing, get your knee off of him.”
A woman in a car in the parking lot was also recording on her phone.
“What was she arrested for, okay, I’m getting the hell out of here,” Holtkamp said as he observed her being arrested.
Holtkamp said he thought she was being arrested for simply recording.
OKCPD officials told News 4 that’s not the case.
“The female subject, who had started recording, began engaging the officer in conversation, asking him questions about what he was doing and asking him to put his gun down, asked him what his badge number was,” Captain Larry Withrow with OCPD said.
Withrow said she was asked to stop interfering out of concern for everyone in the parking lot because the man, whose arrest she was recording, had a gun and allegedly refused to get out of the car.
“So, two of the officers took hold of the subject, pulled him out of the car. He was placed on the ground and the officer used his knee, placing it across his shoulder blade and towards the lower part of his back,” Withrow said.
Withrow said this is a tactic used to detain a person without impacting their ability to breathe.
Holtkamp said that he didn’t feel that was necessary.
“He wasn’t resisting. He was hesitant to get out of the car but he wasn’t resisting in any way,” Holtkamp said.
The woman who was arrested was released immediately with a citation.
“If you want to video, please do so from a safe distance. If the officer gives you instructions to back away or to move or to follow any instructions, do exactly as the officer is asking you to do,” Withrow said. “It is for your safety as well as his, and the subjects he’s currently dealing with.”