LAFOLETTE, Tenn. (WVLT) — Two LaFollette police officers are under investigation after video of an arrest posted online garnered more than 15,000 views.
Dozens of commenters expressed concern about the treatment of the suspect in the video. LaFollette Police Department Captain Steve Wallen said an investigation into the officers' conduct is underway, but no evidence has been found to suggest the officers in the video committed any wrongdoing.
"What is actually seen on the video does not match what the narrator is saying, but we are looking into it. The Chief has talked with the district attorney about this and there is an investigation. If anything is found to show that the officers violated procedure, then we will move forward, but right now we've not found anything to show that [they have]. We are looking for any other videos that may show a different angle, but we haven't found any so far."
Wallen said the vehicles the officers were driving were not equipped with dash cameras.
According to an arrest report, Larry Jones was arrested on March 22 after two officers responded to 2140 Jacksboro Pike to conduct a welfare check on Jones.
The report shows that Jones allegedly began cursing at officers and became irate. Jones is accused of saying "I will kill you" and making a hand gesture in the shape of a gun.
According to records, officers ordered Jones to get on the ground and he refused, then allegedly advanced toward the officers. That's when officers reported they used pepper spray twice on Jones. They said he continued to struggle as they took him into custody.
Captain Wallen said the department is familiar with Larry Jones and that they are aware Jones has a condition called Huntington's disease. He said Jones has a history of becoming irate with officers.
"We're very familiar with him and try to help him the best we can, but on this particular night he became irate, and it went bad for everyone involved."
Jones was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and assault on an officer. He was released from jail on March 23.
The Campbell County District Attorney confirmed they are leading the investigation into the incident.
"We are investigating and are prepared to take any neccessary action based on the findings of our investigation," said District Attorney Jared Effler.
Both officers remain on duty.
"We're a small police department and we can't afford to put people on leave unless we really see a need to. In the case, we don't see the need because we have no evidence that they did anything wrong," said Captain Wallen.
"We opened the investigation just because of the number of comments and concerns from citizens. We just want to make sure that everyone was doing their job the way they're supposed to."
Wallen also noted that Jones did not have any injuries when he was booked into jail.
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