• Dennis McCaslin

FSPD releases bodycam footage of juvenile resisting arrest after making threats to mall security

On Monday at approximately 6 PM, Fort Smith Police were called to Central Mall about a problem juvenile.

Central Mall Security said that one male subject in a group of juveniles was causing trouble and asked to leave. In front of multiple mall employee witnesses, the juvenile allegedly said, "I am going to get my gun and come back to kill all you fuckers."

Officer Garrett Ford was the responding Officer. With that information, he was now dealing with a Terroristic Threats call. He made contact with the juvenile in question, identified by mall security, in front of Dillard's.

Upon being approached by Officer Ford the juvenile fled on foot. Officer Ford gave chase and was able to catch up to the juvenile in the parking lot, but the juvenile resisted arrest, forcing Officer Ford and Det. Andre Arnoldi (working off-duty as on-site security for Dillard's) to take the juvenile to the ground. This is a common technique for subduing resisting or aggressive people.

The two Officers attempted to de-escalate the situation and used the minimum amount of force necessary to complete the arrest as they are trained to do. While subduing the first juvenile, a second male juvenile continually interfered with the arrest.

In all, the first juvenile was on the ground for about a minute and a half. After multiple warnings, Officer Ford arrested the second juvenile for Obstructing Governmental Operations and Criminal Trespassing as he had previously been placed on Central Mall's banned list. Officer Ford's body camera was knocked to the ground during the arrest of the second juvenile.

A 15-second clip of the arrest with limited sound was later posted to social media lacking considerable context. A 14-minute clip of the video showing the events before, during, and immediately after the arrest is now available for further context with heavy visual and some audio redaction to protect the information and identities of the juveniles involved.

That said, the language viewers can hear is quite graphic, so viewer discretion is advised.

You can view the video by click HERE.

No injuries were reported.

"As in all allegations of excessive force or biased policing, an internal investigation is being conducted on the incident and the responding FSPD officers. The Fort Smith Police Department takes very seriously any reports of inappropriate bias in our policing efforts, including racial bias and any misconduct will be handled appropriately."

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