PD investigating possible use of excessive force

While Sallisaw Police Lt. Billy Oliver remains on paid administrative leave, Sallisaw Police Chief Terry Franklin said the investigation is continuing into whether or not Oliver used excessive force in making a recent arrest.

“The Sallisaw Police Department has received a complaint concerning possible use of excessive force by one of our officers during the arrest of an individual,” Franklin said. “The Sallisaw Police Department takes all complaints seriously. If the complaint is founded, appropriate action will be taken.”

The individual in question that was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct is Charles Raymond Day, 39, of Sallisaw. Day is claiming Oliver placed him in a “choke” hold and was trying to take him down to the ground while his arm was stuck in the window of a vehicle.

Video from the body camera of another officer at the scene shows Oliver pulling one of Day's arms away from the window and putting his arm around Day's neck and another officer assisting in taking Day to the ground. The investigation into excessive force was generated after investigators saw the video.

It has also been reported that Oliver did not have his body camera on at the time of the incident.

“We have a body camera policy that says the officer activates the camera when they make direct contact with the public,” Franklin said. “We are trained to use neck restraints, but we don't choke people. There is a difference in restraint and choking.”

According to an incident report filed by Officer Josh Rogers, a call came in about 1:53 a.m. June 7, about a person with a gun outside of an apartment at GardenWalk Apartments on Ruth Street.

“Upon our arrival, Lt. Oliver observed a female near the playground screaming and she had something in her hand. The female turned around and started running and threw something. Lt. Oliver then ordered the female to the ground and placed her in handcuffs. The female was screaming and yelling the entire time we were there. The female was later identified as Brandy Turnbough-Newton,” Rogers said in his report. Rogers said in his report he then went to talk

Rogers said in his report he then went to talk to the family that had originally called and they told him the man next door had a gun. That man was identified as Kyle Day.

When he spoke with Kyle Day, Rogers said Kyle Day told him he had come to visit his girlfriend at her apartment and it smelled like weed. Kyle said he then went to the neighbors door and asked if they were smoking weed and if so could they go outside to smoke it because they had kids inside their apartment.

“The neighbors said no they were not smoking marijuana and so Kyle left and went back to his apartment and opened all the windows to get the smell out. A short time later a female (Turnbough-Newton) came over and started yelling and beating on the door. Brandy then began trying to open the door and trying to tear the screen out of the window. At that point, Kyle got his pistol and chambered a round and told them to stop,” Rogers' report said.

Rogers said he returned to his unit to get witness statements and asked a deputy to place Turnbough-Newton in his car.

“At this point a young female started screaming and telling her relative to stop the cops from arresting Brandy. I observed a white male running toward the other officers and deputies and I took off running at him telling him to stop and to get out of here multiple times. The individual was identified as Charles Day,” Rogers' report said.

Rogers said Day kept yelling but eventually moved back to the parking lot. He said in the report he then placed Brandy in his patrol unit. “Once Brandy was placed in the rear seat of my patrol unit she began screaming and hitting her head on the window,” the report said.

Rogers said in the report that he then returned to Kyle Day to give him a witness statement and while doing so a young female began arguing with Oliver and screaming at him.

“Eventually. Lt. Oliver was able to calm the young female down and he was taking her back to her family who was in the parking lot and (Charles) Day was one of them. While Lt. Oliver was taking her to her family, Day came up to Lt. Oliver and began screaming at him and shoved Lt. Oliver. At this point, Lt. Oliver informed Day to put his hands behind his back and he refused to do so. Lt. Oliver and Hofstetter then had to assist Day to the ground before they could get him in handcuffs. Lt. Oliver then placed Day in the rear seat of his patrol unit,” Rogers said in the report.

Day was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting an executive officer. He was released on a $497 cash bond.

Franklin said his department is doing its own internal investigation and depending on what the results are of that investigation, he may call in an outside agency to conduct a further investigation.

Sequoyah County Times

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