Mansfield, OH – A Mansfield police officer who was placed on two months of unpaid leave for dragging a teenager away from his father’s arrest has filed a grievance over the department’s decision to suspend him.
According to Mansfield Police Chief Keith Porch, Officer Moore violated department policy during an Oct. 12 encounter with a 17-year-old male and his father, 37-year-old Dwaine Chapman.
The incident occurred in the 500-block of West 4th Street, after Mansfield police received a report that two men were in the middle of a heated argument, WEWS reported.
When they arrived at the scene, they discovered that Chapman allegedly threatened to have his dog attack the man who he was arguing with, according to police.
Investigators said that Chapman also appeared to be under the influence of a narcotic, and that he was sweating, had dilated pupils, and was acting in an “aggressive” manner, the Mansfield News Journal reported.
Cell phone footage showed the suspect fighting the officers’ efforts to get him into the back of a patrol vehicle.
That’s when his 17-year-old son suddenly stormed across the street and headed directly towards the officers and his father, the video showed.
Just before the teen closed in on the officers, another officer tackled him from behind and took him to the ground.
“He went over there originally to go check on him and then the police officer ran up behind him and tackled him,” the teen’s 17-year-old friend told WEWS.
The friend said he was the one who recorded the altercation.
The video showed officers wresting the 17-year-old suspect into handcuffs as his father continued brawling with police just feet away.
One of the officers warned the teen recording the scene to back away across the street unless he wanted to be arrested also.
“I’m not doing s—t! What are you talkin’ about?” the boy squealed.
He then began yelling at his handcuffed friend not to “say s—t” to the officers.
“You’re good!” the bystander yelled. “They like to shoot n—-rs and s—t, bro. Don’t do s—t, bro.”
Chapman appeared to grab onto his son’s foot at one point during the encounter, which resulted in officers forcibly pulling them away from one another.
The officers dragged the teen towards the back of the patrol vehicle as more police fought to get Chapman into the back seat, the video showed.
A moment later, Officer Moore grabbed the seated, handcuffed teen and dragged him across the pavement to the passenger side of the patrol car.
“What the f—k is you draggin’ him for?” the boy’s friend yelled out. “What the f—k is y’all doing?”
“When they saw me recording, they tried to drag him behind the car so I wouldn’t get it,” he later claimed in an interview with WEWS.
Bystanders began gathering in the area and started hollering at the officers, telling them that the suspect they had seated on the ground was a minor, the video showed.
“Let my son and I go!” Chapman yelled repeatedly, still resisting efforts to put him into the patrol car.
Police ultimately loaded the adult suspect into the car headfirst as other officers arrived at the scene.
Chapman has been charged with resisting arrest, menacing, and public intoxication, according to WJW.
Police cited the teen with obstructing police and later released him to his mother, Krystal McKinney, WEWS reported.
“Throwing him to the ground on his head and on his shoulder and then tossing him around like a rag doll while he’s already cuffed and it’s on the tape, and dragging him by the collar of his shirt to the point he’s being choked? I feel like that’s excessive force and he’s a minor,” McKinney declared.
The Mansfield Division of Police (MDP) initially placed Officer Jordan Moore on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of an internal investigation into the incident, WEWS reported.
“We understand the concerns that have been raised by the incident and are currently reviewing any and all video associated with the arrests,” an MDP statement noted at the time. “As with any investigation, this takes time to accurately review all audiovisual from the incident.”
According to Chief Porch, the investigation revealed Officer Moore grabbed the teen by his sweatshirt “without warning or instruction to comply with order,” and dragged him for several feet, the Mansfield News Journal reported.
He was sanctioned to 60 days of unpaid leave as a result of the incident, and will not be allowed to return to work until Jan. 11.
Officer Moore said in his grievance that his suspension was “improper” because it allegedly violated the “just cause progressive discipline” provision outlined In the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) contract, the Mansfield News Journal reported.
Consequently, the officer has asked that the suspension be removed, and that he “be made whole all losses economic and other,” according to the paper.
The FOP Labor Council must now choose an attorney to represent Officer Moore as the case goes to arbitration.
The city and the union will also select an arbitrator.
“The arbitrator can say 90 days, 60 days, 30 days, no days…so they have unlimited options, really,” Mansfield Safety-Service Director Lori Cope told the Mansfield News Journal.