CHICAGO (CBS) — A viral video of a Gary Police officer’s actions during an arrest last month has led to him being placed on administrative leave.
The video shows a man being arrested for what he says was his right to film the officer arresting a woman in July.
CBS 2’s Steven Graves spoke to Andre James, who plans to fight the criminal charges he’s now facing, and has hired legal counsel.
The video of his encounter with Gary police is making the rounds on social media, stirring up emotions on both sides.
The roughly three-minute-long video takes place at a gas station off Fourth Avenue in Gary.
It shows a Gary Police officer arresting a woman as she gets out of her van.
James said he started filming as he got alarmed.
In the video, you can see an officer trying to handcuff a woman behind her back, and hear him shouting “stop fighting,” while she shouts back “I’m not fighting.”
“When he grabs her arm and started aggressively handling her like a man, that’s when I started recording, because I felt like this wasn’t the right thing to do,” James said.
During the encounter, the officer told James, “if you interfere, you’ll be involved as well.”
“I’m not involved in anything,” James responded.
“Back up before you get involved!” the officer replied.
James said he stayed back as more officer arrived on the scene.
As another officer detained the woman, the first officer proceeded to ask for his ID.
James refuses, and was arrested.
“I’m going to attach you to this call. Do it now,” the officer said.
“Attach me to this call?” James asked.
“Take him, too,” the officer said.
“You ain’t taking me. I ain’t even do nothing,” James said.
The video cut off as James was put against a vehicle.
“I was very frustrated about the situation,” James told CBS 2.
The video touched a nerve with thousands on social media. Some people expressed anger at the officer interfering with James’ right to record video. Others said the officer made his stance clear.
“Based on the video, our position is that he never should have been charged in the first place,” said James’s attorney, Michael Campbell. “All he was doing was recording and trying to lend some transparency.”
James has been charged with four counts of resisting law enforcement.
In addition to his criminal defense attorney, the 40 year old also has another lawyer fighting a civil case.
“He gets dragged into it, and incarcerated for two days. So, yeah there’s definitely something amiss,” said attorney Mark Schockey.
The attorneys declined to elaborate on what happened after the video shut off.
The gas station has several surveillance cameras, but CBS 2 was told a manager was not available to show us any footage.
“My worst fear was that, if I wasn’t there, something else could have went wrong. Or if I was there and his other type of officers like him were there, it could have escalated into worse than what it was,” James said.
CBS 2 is still trying to find out what led up to the woman being arrested.
Gary’s mayor’s office said the city will not release the name of the officer unless he faces disciplinary action:
“Mayor Jerome Prince and our police leadership hold our officers and public servants to the highest standards of professionalism, and we take all complaints very seriously. We are investigating the incident. An officer in the video is on administrative leave. We will not identify him unless a disciplinary action is initiated.”