Video from a police dash camera appears to contradict a statement made by a Little Rock, Ark. police officer who is accused of using excessive force after he slammed a legally blind man to the pavement.
It was June 1 and Eric Wilson was walking home after missing his bus ride after leaving his job at Lighthouse for the Blind.
According to KLRT, the officers had received a call about someone matching Wilson’s description who was either chasing another person or running from someone in fear.
The dash cam video shows the two officers approaching Wilson as he was walking down the sidewalk. The lead officer is heard saying to Wilson, “Hey, come over here and talk to me.”
Wilson, who says he only sees shadows, told KLRT that he didn’t know what was about to happen.
“I could have possibly been getting robbed,” Wilson said.
Though audio from the dash camera is unclear, video appears to shows Wilson complying with the officers commands. He is seen walking slowly towards the officers and holding his hands out to his sides. The officers then move Wilson to the sidewalk and seemingly ask him to put his hands behind his back.
Wilson, who is black, appears to comply with that command as well. But then, the lead officer, who also appears to be black, is seen taking Wilson to the ground.
In a police report, the officer stated that Wilson “pulled away violently causing me to lose grip.” He also stated that he was “afraid that Wilson would strike myself or my partner with the handcuff.”
The officer also noted that he saw a black handle hanging out of Wilson’s pants which could have been a weapon. But that turned out to be the handle of a digital clock that reads Wilson the time.
Now, Wilson and his attorney Reggie Koch are calling foul.
“When they tell him to ‘Come over here,’ he walked towards them,” Koch told KLRT. “When they tell him ‘Take your hands out of your pockets,’ he takes his hands out of his pockets. What more do they want?”
According to KLRT, Wilson received medical treatment for a strained lumbar.
“Why would I get thrown to the ground?” Wilson asked. “If anything [the officers] should have been trying to help me.”