TEMPLE, Texas – UPDATE: The Temple Police Department is continuing the investigation into the Thursday morning arrest of Kenneth Wright.
After an initial review of video of the incident, Temple PD staff has identified an initial timeline of key events that occurred. It is important to note the timeline below is not a play-by-play of the entire event, but is intended to identify key portions of time during the event.
- 3:12:00 – Officer Michael Sapp makes voluntary contact with 55-year-old Wright and checks his identification.
- 3:17:03 – Dispatch confirms that the suspect has four outstanding misdemeanor warrants.
- 3:17:23 – Officer Zachary Quick arrives on scene. Sapp tells the suspect he is being detained and attempts to place him in handcuffs. The suspect begins to resist and evades officers.
- 3:17:31 – Sapp catches up to the suspect in front of the vehicle and attempts to take him to the ground. The suspect continues to resist.
- 3:17:32-37 – The suspect states he cannot breathe. Sapp and Quick repeatedly give the suspect commands to get on the ground.
- 3:17:43-3:18:17 – Sapp and Quick get the suspect on the ground and the suspect continues to resist and states he can’t breathe. Officers repeatedly tell him to put his hands behind his back.
- 3:18:22 – Suspect continues to resist. Sapp tells Quick to get his Taser out, to which the suspect responds, “For what, man? For what?” and continues to resist.
- 3:18:28 – Quick applies a drive stun.
- 3:18:54-3:19:02 – Handcuffs are applied to the suspect. Sapp advises the suspect he is under arrest for warrants.
- 3:19:16 – Sapp requests a supervisor and EMS to respond to the scene.
- 3:21:03 – The suspect complains that his back is hurting. Sapp tells the suspect that an ambulance is en route.
- 3:30:40 – EMS arrives on scene and officers assist the suspect onto a stretcher. EMS administers aid.
- 3:52:00 – EMS transports suspect to hospital.
Temple PD was notified Friday that the suspect was treated for a neck fracture and was expected to be released that same day. It is unclear if the suspect’s injuries were sustained during the event or were preexisting.
Each individual use of force by a Temple Police officer is documented and reviewed by supervisors to determine whether it was appropriate and reasonable based on the circumstances at the time.
Temple PD states the Texas Occupations Code generally prohibits release to the public of a recording created with a body worn camera that is related to an administrative or criminal investigation of a police officer until all criminal matters have been finally adjudicated and any administrative investigations have concluded.
The department says the Internal Affairs investigation is not a criminal investigation, but rather an administrative review of the incident. Chief Reynolds intends to release video of the incident when the administrative investigation is complete, should the facts of the case not change.
Below is the original text from this story:
The Temple Police Department announced late Thursday night that an Internal Affairs Investigation is underway concerning an officer’s use of force.
The department says the officer ‘drive stunned’ a man allegedly resisting arrest Thursday morning around 3:17 a.m. ‘Drive stunned’ is defined as using a taser, without a cartridge, directly on a person’s body.
According to the press release, the officer first came in contact with the man, identified as 55-year-old Kenneth Wright, while driving around the 700 block of North 20th Street. The officer found Wright sitting in a vehicle, made contact with him, and learned he had four outstanding misdemeanor warrants for possession of controlled substance, resisting arrest, possession of dangerous drugs, and theft.
The report says a second officer arrived while the first one tried to detain Wright, who is accused of resisting arrest. The officers got Wright to the ground, and that’s when the taser was used, according to police. The officers were then able to handcuff Wright.
Following Temple Police policy, the officers called for a supervisor and EMS. They say Wright complained of back pain, so an ambulance took him to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Temple. Doctors treated him for non-life threatening injuries.
Temple Police say the officers suffered minor injuries and one was also treated at the hospital.
Investigators say a search of Wright’s vehicle uncovered drug paraphernalia and controlled substances. He faces new charges of resisting arrest and possession of a controlled substance.
No formal complaint has been filed so far, according to the police department, but Temple Police Chief Shawn Reynolds ordered an Internal Affairs investigation.
The press release says one of Wright’s family members has contacted the department about the arrest.
While Wright’s name has been released to the public, the Temple Police Department has not released the names of the two officers.
The department says there is body camera footage of the incident, but it will not be released at this time. According to the Texas Occupations Code, such footage is not released until an administrative or criminal investigation of the police officer has concluded.
Source: Temple Police Department