LYNCHBURG (WSLS) – Police in Lynchburg are explaining a video that went viral over the weekend, depicting the violent arrest of Xavier Crute and his sister Laticia.
Chief Raul Diaz is defending the actions the officers took, saying they acted professionally and their response was justified given the circumstances.
In a news conference Tuesday, Chief Diaz explained that the original call to the residence was for a domestic dispute that involved the possibility of narcotics being used in front of children.
That’s why he says when police arrived and met resistance, they couldn’t back down.
Police were met at the door by Xavier Crute and his sister Laticia.
When Xavier refused the officers entry, they tried to arrest him, but he resisted.
While his sister filmed on her phone, Xavier fought against the two officers, punching one of them in the face.
“Officer Hughes received a laceration to the inside of his lower lip, and an injury to his right hand as a result of the altercation. Officer Gifford received an abrasion, a contusion to his right forearm during the struggle,” said Diaz.
Diaz says the officers took the action they did because they could hear screaming inside and smell marijuana.
“We have to make sure, as police officers, that everybody inside is okay. Mr. Crute comes outside, Mr. Crute says ‘you’re not coming inside the house,” said Diaz.
As Crute violently resisted, the officers fought back, and Diaz says that was completely warranted.
“Police officers are human beings and they’re people, and just like you wouldn’t expect any individual to get punched repeatedly in the face and just put his arms down and go ok just punch me some more, officers have the right to defend themselves,” said Diaz.
Crute was taken to the hospital, where he was released shortly after with no visible injuries.
The children inside the house are now in the custody of social services.
Crute is facing two counts of assault on a police officer, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of resisting arrest.
Laticia is also facing charges for obstruction and resisting.
Diaz says the investigation is ongoing, but at this point he defends his officers.
“Based on all the information we have, it appears that the officers acted justified,” said Diaz.
Xavier and Laticia Crute were at the news conference.
They refused to comment, saying they needed to speak with their attorney.
They are both expected in General District Court on March 22nd.