Firefighter’s arrest drawing criticism

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Firefighter's arrest drawing criticism
Image courtesy FOX17 video

By Ann Rowland

“Once you restrain a guy, why you gotta hit him like that?”, Murfreesboro, Tennessee resident Larry Stillwell told WZTV-Nashville.  Stillwell had just been shown a cell phone video that captured police hitting Smyrna fireman Jerry Mosely.  Mosely was arrested after allegedly pulling his pants down at a Murfreesboro bar early Thursday morning.  The video shows Mosely on the ground and a police officer punching him in his lower back.

Elizabeth Bagley a student at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro had a similar reaction.  “They already had him on the floor.  There was a whole bunch of police officers around him.  I don’t think it was really necessary.”

Buford Tune of Academy Personal Protection and Security and a 25 year veteran police officer has a different take on what he sees in the video.  Tune sees a police officer doing what he has been trained to do which is to administer compliance strikes to a person who is resisting putting his hands behind his back when being asked to do so.

Mosely is a 7 year veteran of the Smyrna Fire Department.  According to the police report, Mosely was asked to leave Sam’s Sport Grill in Murfreesboro because he was intoxicated.  Police allege that Mosely pulled his pants down and mooned a group of people outside the bar and when told that it was time to leave, he began swearing and swinging his arms.  At that time, police attempted to put Mosely under arrest.

The cell phone video was taken by a witness outside the bar and shows Mosely face down on the ground surrounded by at least three police officers.  After restraining Mosely in handcuffs, police took him into custody.  He is charged with public intoxication, indecent exposure and resisting arrest.  He was released on $2,750 bond.

Murfreesboro Police have reviewed the video and released the following statement, “After reviewing the video and statements from officers involved, department officials believe the level of force applied was reasonable and appropriate.”

As for Mosely, he suffered fractured ribs and is said to be consulting an attorney.  He is still on active status and is expected to return to work following his normal two days off.  Smyrna Fire Chief said that the department is in the process of gathering the facts and “….we will get all of them and then we will discuss them with the town manager, and a decision will be made there.”

Buford Tune believes there is a lesson in this for all of us who witness something like this.  “All the people around need to shut up because all they are doing is aggravating the situation more.”

 

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