BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (May 19, 2014) – A police officer accused of using excessive force in a 2012 arrest has been cleared of any wrong-doing. This comes on the same day the Battle Creek Police Department wrapped up a two day training session with an expert on the use of force by police officers.
Officer Christopher Hug was seen throwing Kenneth Moye to the ground outside a liquor store in Battle Creek. The arrest happened in 2012 but now it’s having a big impact on the future of the department according to Chief Jim Blocker.
“That video gave us an opportunity to take a second look at it which I’m not sure we would have done had that video not been released,” said Chief Blocker.
The arrest of Moye was investigated by Michigan State Police and the Calhoun County prosecutor who both cleared officer Hug of any wrong-doing.
“We had to give it to someone else to take a look at,” the chief said. “Did we do a thorough job in the investigation? Did we analyze everything the way we should have analyzed it?”
It was also looked at by Dr. Darrell Ross, an expert brought in to conduct two days worth of excessive force training after viewing the video he did find the use of excessive force.
“What I saw from video in terms of response, in terms of resistance, and the training, from what I know about the department,” said Dr. Ross.
Chief Jim Blocker said it shows how subjective the issue can be.
“What is use of force to me may not be use of force to someone else,” the chief said.
With that in mind, the police department is now taking what they learned and working to revamp existing policies and training when it comes to use of force.
Overall, the chief said the department is battling perception issues. In reality, according to Blocker, the numbers favor the department.
“96% of our calls for service in which there was an arrest, there was no use of force,” he said.
As for the specific policy changes and when they will happen, those answers are still months away.