UOPD releases bodycam footage from controversial incident in May

The incident happened May 12 when an officer was clearing the Erb Memorial Union building of people before police conducted their K-9 Search Unit for a burglary suspect.

Posted: Jul 25, 2018 6:03 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- University of Oregon police have released body camera footage showing an officer clearing a building while searching for a suspect back in May.

The incident happened May 12 when an officer was clearing the Erb Memorial Union building of people before police conducted their K-9 Search Unit for a burglary suspect that they thought might have run into the building.

The University of Oregon Police Department said the student in the video was a member of the KWVA radio station located on the bottom floor of the EMU.

They said the student was not the suspect or confused with being the suspect, and the officer did tell the man he wasn't in trouble and apologized for his initial tone during their first interaction.

After the student and some UO community leaders voiced their concerns about the officer's behavior, UOPD conducted an internal investigation that determined there was no violation of law or policy. But they do apologize for the officer's initial behavior.

KEZI spoke with and showed some UO students the footage to see what they thought of the incident.

"I mean the officer probably should have led with, 'There's a suspect on the loose and maybe we should get out of here,'” Kyle Raze said. “Other than that, it doesn't seem that bad, it's just the order of commands."

"Kind of confused to be honest,” Nathan Stembridge said. “I don't (know) why he has a gun on him especially in a place where there's a lot of people, just escorting students out, just pushing them around. I don't really think it's right."

UOPD said they have arranged a training with their staff and the radio station staff to ensure officers understand and can accommodate the broadcasting law requirements under which the radio station staff operate.

To see the full footage released by police, click here.

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