MORGAN CITY, La. (KLFY) — An internal investigation by the Morgan City Police Department has concuded that officers did not violate the agency’s rules and regulations in a September incident in which a Black woman was shown in a viral video being pushed to the ground.
On Sept. 3, a video began circulating on social media depicting a large crowd and officers of the Morgan City Police Department in an altercation with a woman in the parking lot of Morgan City gas station, according to a news release from Morgan City Police Chief Chad Adams.
“After a lengthy internal investigation which included the review of surveillance cameras, body cameras, and witness statements, the Morgan City Police Department found that officers with the Morgan City Police Department did not violate any of the Morgan City Police Department’s Rules and Regulations,” Adams said. “This case was also reviewed by two Use of Force Instructors which found the officers used the minimal amount of force in the Use of Force Continuum.”
According to the release, during the early morning hours of Sept. 3, a large party was being held at Patterson Civic Center in Patterson. At some point, several fights broke out and multiple law enforcement agencies were dispatched to deescalate the incident. Eventually the crowd was dispersed and the event ended.
After the incident, some individuals involved went to a local eatery in Morgan City, according to authorities. Officials said a short time later the Morgan City Police Department received a complaint of a large unruly crowd at the gas station next to the eatery. The attendant of the gas station said they had locked the doors to count inventory, but the crowd began banging and throwing things at the windows of the business in an attempt to gain access, according to officials.
Police arrested one person who who refused to leave and was causing a disturbance, according to Adams. A side altercation took place, and police tried to arrest one of the women involved.
“As officers attempted to arrest the individuals involved the crowd once again encircled the officers and attempted to pull a female away from officers who were attempting to handcuff her,” Adams said.
Officers then drew tasers to disperse the encroaching crowd. After being backed into an area around gas pumps, officers used pepper spray to defend themselves, as a taser presented a risk of combustion, Adams said.
“Officers opted to allow the crowd to disperse rather than make further arrests, this decision was made so the situation could de-escalate rather than escalate the situation,” Adams said.
After viewing surveillance footage and body cam footage, Adams concluded the officers had not violated the departments rules and regulations.
“I, as the Chief of Police, have ordered Investigators with the Morgan City Police Department to conduct a criminal investigation into those individuals who interfered with officers attempting to make arrest during this September 3, 2023, incident.” he said. “Upon the conclusion of the criminal investigation, Investigators will obtain arrest warrants for those individuals involved.”
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