Campus police release video of disturbing arrest


NORMAN, OKLA. (KFOR) – University of Oklahoma Police has released body camera footage of a controversial arrest at the Bedlam football game back in November.

Ismail Garcia said he was taken into custody after police said he was told to leave an overcrowded area, but he refused.

But, Garcia said he didn’t want to leave because he had paid for a seat in that area.

The new body camera footage shows what happened after the officers removed Garcia from the crown and held him in a secure area at the stadium.

The full community incident briefing provided by the university can be viewed here

At the time, Ismail Garcia claimed police officers inappropriately handled him during the encounter.

“My neck, my shoulders and arms and elbows were twisted. I had weight on my back. My legs are bruised,” Garcia said in a November interview with KFOR.

The confrontation was caught on camera by bystanders and the resulting footage was viewed hundreds of times on social media.

In the cell phone video provided to KFOR, you can see Ismail screaming and writing on the ground while multiple officers attempted to restrain him.

Officers said Garcia went unconscious for a few seconds before medics were brought in and he was taken to a hospital.

Afterwards, Garcia was arrested for assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, and other charges.

Garcia said he was later treated at the hospital before being booked into the Cleveland County Jail.

Garcia also previously provided documentation that showed he was treated for multiple injuries to his head, neck, ribs and possibly two broken wrists.

While Garcia indicated he was a student, University of Oklahoma officials have confirmed to KFOR that the last time he was enrolled at the university was in the fall of 2020.

The University of Oklahoma said a review by use-of-force instructors found no excessive force:

“As of early 2022, the OUPD is fortunate to now have access to body camera footage; it keeps both our officers and the public safer. In this case, the body cameras performed exactly as intended, and I recommend the officers involved to make sure their cameras were turned on as soon as they came upon the incident. The good news is that we know exactly what happened; the bad news is that arrest videos in real life are rarely pretty or perfect, and this arrest was no exception. A close review of the video shows us that, although the situation was unpredictable, officers acted quickly to keep a highly agitated and possibly intoxicated suspect, all students and bystanders, as well as themselves, safe. The suspect’s physical and verbal behavior escalated this situation, and the officers followed the appropriate protocols to keep him from further injuring himself on hard surfaces and sharp corners as he fought those who were trying to get to his seat and calm him.

“Immediately following the incident, and as standard protocol with any incident involving use of force, we conducted an investigation designed to determine whether any officer’s actions were unjustified uses of policing power. Following review of this incident by the OUPD and by non-OUPD use of force instructors, a determination was made that the officers maintained appropriate protocols and no officers used excessive force. Nevertheless, even when standard policing protocols are satisfied, we hold ourselves at OUPD to a higher standard. Any officers working on our university grounds are not just agents of the law but stewards of the well-being and security for all of those on campus. In all cases, once a suspect is subdued and in a controlled area, officer responsibilities should provide for the well-being of the suspect, and in this instance, we believe that one officer failed to observe the suspect’s rapidly changing physical condition as he lapsed into temporary unconsciousness during the dynamic situation fell short of that. OUPD will look to this as a training moment. Our goal is that officers present on our campus conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism at all times. As for the subject officer, any disciplinary action is considered a confidential personnel matter.”

OU Police Department Chief Nate Tarver

A preliminary conference for this case is set for Tuesday, March 7thfor the two charges that he is currently facing, including assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest.

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