TEXARKANA, TEXAS (KTAL/KMSS) – Police are addressing a video circulating on social media with accusations of officers using excessive force in the arrest of a man at a Texarkana apartment complex on Mother’s Day.
Police said George Cummings, Jr., 28, of Prescott, Arkansas, struggled with them when they tried to arrest him for trespassing at an apartment complex. Some people who’ve seen the video accused the officers of using excessive force.
Witnesses to the incident said they want everyone to see what happened. “It’s not right, it shouldn’t have happened. Like, should it be shared? Yes.” said Kenneshia Wicks.
Keith Clark, who posted the video on social media, said Cummings was scared. “I mean, that’s anybody, when police surround you and you ain’t did nothing, you’re gonna be scared,” he said.
TTPD officials said the video circulating on social media appears to misrepresent the facts, as it only shows a portion of the event, starting after Cummings was on the ground.
Police said they were dispatched to Town North Apartments for a disturbance involving a man assaulting a woman in the parking lot. When units arrived, police said an apartment complex employee pointed out Cummings as the man who was fighting and told officers that he was recently banned from the property. According to police, the employee said that he wanted to file criminal trespassing charges.
Officials said when three officers attempted to take Cummings into custody, he immediately began to pull away from them and a struggle ensued. Despite repeated commands to place his hands behind his back and the use of pepper spray, police said Cummings continued to lock his arms under this body.
TTPD officials said officers used several strikes with their hands and forearms to Cummings’ back and side. “There were no punches thrown. They did use their elbow coming down like that on his back trying to stun him to get compliance,” said TTPD Officer Shawn Vaughn at a news conference.
Additional officers responded to assist with a gathering crowd and taking Cummings into custody. The video shows officers eventually handcuffing Cummings. Police said they were forced to carry him to the patrol unit after he refused to walk on his own.
Officials said Cummings was evaluated by medical personnel and not injured. He was taken to Bi-State jail.
As with all incidents where officers use force to make an arrest, TTPD officials said the incident was reviewed by the department’s supervisory staff. They determined that the officers used only the reasonable amount of necessary force to make the arrest.
Cummings’ bond was set at $8,000 on charges of criminal trespass and resisting arrest.