Acknowledging that the incident is "uncomfortable to watch," the St. Louis County Police Department released an unusually detailed statement this morning to address a video showing two officers attempting to arrest a man carrying a male infant.
The video was first posted to Facebook on Sunday, but a reshare of the two-minute clip
quickly went viral, racking up thousands of views and outraged comments. The video appears to show two officers trying to tug at the child in the man's arms while the infant wails. At one point, an officer approaches the situation with his Taser drawn.
However, police say the video is "selectively edited" — indeed, the clip includes several cuts — and that the situation began with a domestic violence call.
"Officers used the least amount of force possible to compel the suspect to comply," the statement reads. "The suspect refused several commands by the officers [and] was ultimately arrested." A Taser, a department spokesman tells the RFT
, was never actually used.
Police say the incident began just after 11 a.m. on July 7. A 28-year-old woman had contacted police to allege that "her child’s father assaulted her, damaged property inside the home, and left with their young child," according to the department.
Officers located the father at a nearby bus stop — but he didn't want to be detained. At that point, police say the man "refused to comply with the officer numerous times while continually placing the young child between himself and the officer."
According to the statement, "The suspect was ultimately arrested for Domestic Assault in the Fourth Degree, Property Damage in the Second Degree, Resisting Arrest, and numerous outstanding warrants."
As for the child, the department says that although EMS was called to the scene, "the child was uninjured" and subsequently released to his mother.
The statement does not name the man detained.
We've reached out to the person who originally shot the video, and we will update this story if/when we hear back. You can read the full statement from the county police below:
Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com
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