VENICE (WWSB) - One Suncoast police department is now under scrutiny after a dash cam video from an arrest was released to the public.
It was from an incident that took place on December 21st outside the Motel 6 in Venice. Officers from the Venice Police Department were called to respond to an attempted burglary at the Motel 6, after someone was seen climbing into a room through the window.
You can see in the video that when they arrived they spotted the person identified by the hotel manager as the suspect. Ethan Waters, 19, walked towards the officers asking them what was going on, but things quickly escalated. Police throwing him against the wall and then to the ground.
“It’s clear the officers don’t have a whole lot of information, and rather than get that information, they immediately get out of their car and start throwing people up against the wall and on the ground. Just like he said, this is America. He is an American citizen. We don’t treat people this way,” Michael Barfield, one of the paralegals on Waters’ defense team and the President of ACLU Florida, tells us.
Police later learned Waters was a guest at the motel and not a burglar, and had entered his room through the window because his roommate did not leave him a key. The police report also says waters was charged with resisting arrest, which his lawyers say conflicts with this video evidence
“We’re going to conduct an investigation ourselves. Mostly into the officers conduct, and then ask the State Attorney why these charges are still pending against our client. When things like this happen where you have video evidence like this, and it’s so compelling, you have to take action responsibly and quickly to restore trust in the Venice Police Department. We hope the Chief does this very very quickly,” Barfield explained.
The Venice Police Department did tell us that this incident, and the way the officers responded, is being looked into.