CMPD Responds to Allegations Officer Went Too Far
CHARLOTTE, NC -- CMPD responds to allegations an officer went too far by arresting a man who was distributing campaign fliers. Several people with cell phones recorded the confrontation.
CMPD is explaining why officers handcuffed the man for something that's usually handled with a warning. The incident has a group of Charlotte pastors calling for improved training for officers and more accountability.
The confrontation between Ty Turner and a CMPD officer landed Turner in handcuffs Monday night. An officer stopped Turner near a Moral Monday rally in Uptown as he distributed fliers, which is a violation of city code.
"The officer, as I said, Tropeano, decides that he's going to detain him, when he does, a struggle ensues," said Deputy Chief Kerr Putney. CMPD says the officer only planned to cite and release Turner, but arrested him when Turner refused to show ID and would not listen to the officer's orders to put his phone away.
"He took two steps forward, and I took two steps back. From that point he lunged at me to try and grab my phone," said Turner.
"In this situation, given the context, the officers had the presence of mind to just handcuff him in the front, because again, they didn't see him as a major threat. But again, they wanted to detain him and control his hands so they could de-escalate the situation," said Deputy Chief Putney.
Turner says he wasn't taken straight to the jail. He says he was first driven to a dumpster area behind a nearby theater. CMPD's response?
"The movement from an area where emotions are escalated to an area that's much more sterile is absolutely what we train our people to do," said Putney.
Turner and the Charlotte NAACP are calling for action.
"What would satisfy us? The removal of officer Tropeano, because he has a history of doing this," said Charlotte NAACP President Kojo Nantambu.
"Do I think this rises to the level of an officer losing his job?" asked Putney. "Well, what we see is he did not violate the law. He was actually trying to enforce the law."
Turner has a warning for others: "Know your rights. If you have any questions, know your right. I say this for the younger generation: do not be afraid to use your camera."
CMPD is asking to see any video people recorded of the incident. Investigators have already reviewed several clips posted online and video an officer on the scene recorded. Meantime, the ministers supporting Turner are asking to meet with Chief Rodney Monroe.