Video shows SBPD officers arresting bare-bottomed woman; she's upset
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – When chaos broke out in downtown South Bend early Sunday morning following a hip hop concert, police officers called for assistance.
A large group of around 150 people, some of which were fighting, refused to disperse when officers told them to.
Many in the crowd were there to see Atlanta based rapper Lil' Scrappy.
In the following days, several videos surfaced showing the lawlessness, and the officers trying to maintain control.
There were several fights and screaming matches, while officers used pepper spray and activated tasers near people who refused to listen.
At one point an officer fired his taser into two females who were fighting on the ground. One of the women was injured during the fight, neither was arrested.
One of the three people who were arrested was Amy Wilson.
She claims she saw a woman injured and bleeding from the head on the ground and went over to ask the officers if they had called for an ambulance.
They said yes, and ordered her to go to her car, according to Wilson, though she claims they used vulgar language in doing so. “They were like, go the (expletive) to you car, keep on (expletive) walking, shut your (expletive) mouth,” said Wilson.
Wilson took offense to the language and explained she asked them why they thought they could talk to a lady like that.
Wilson says, the question irritated the officers who continued to tell her to leave the area; something she claims she could not do because several of them had surrounded her.
Ultimately, Wilson was arrested for disturbing the peace and resisting arrest. When she was booked into the St. Joseph County Jail her blood alcohol content was 0.15; nearly twice the legal limit.
Wilson understands why she was arrested even though she may not agree with how she was spoken to; she didn’t follow the officer’s commands.
Her anger comes from what happened after they had her in handcuffs.
Wilson was finding it difficult to keep her feet under her as the officer escorted her to his cruiser, which was down the street and around a corner; Wilson has scrapes and bruises from her walk to the car.
In one video, two officers are escorting Wilson. She is seen stumbling once and falling down as well.
When she hit the ground the officers kept moving and she was dragged less than a foot before she screamed out, “let me stand up” and the officers yelled at her to do so.
After getting her up, the bottom of Wilson’s dress had slid up over her hips and was now around her waist.
With her backside exposed, Wilson asked the officer to please fix her skirt. With his free hand he tugged the front down as best he could then continued to the car, which was still 15 to 20 feet away.
The officers attempt to fix the dress failed, however, and Wilson’s backside was exposed for the rest of her walk to the car.
Members of the South Bend Police Department viewed the videos Tuesday.
According to Public Information Officer, Captain Phil Trent, it was a text book escort and he saw nothing wrong with how it was executed.
“Once you’re en route from point A to your vehicle, stopping for cosmetic purposes is really not the objective; your objective is ‘hey, this whole wardrobe malfunction will be a non-issue as soon as you get in the privacy of this squad car’,” said Trent.
Trent also explained that the officer would not let go of a person in custody to use a different hand to fix an article of clothing because they are taught never to release a prisoner when escorting them.
Proper procedure aside, this is a matter of dignity and the police having some common decency when dealing with her, according to Wilson.
“I just felt totally violated because here my butt is all exposed for everybody, all these officers looking at me and it was really embarrassing,” said Wilson.
Trent understands her embarrassment but was unmoved by her plea in light of the situation at hand; with several officers needing to break up fights and an officer being injured in the process.
“We’re sorry she feels that way, but as you can see there was absolutely nothing we could do at that point,” said Trent.
(Correction: In an on-air version of this story we reported the wrong location of the incident. We apologize and regret the error).