COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A Columbus Police officer is under investigation for comments the Chief of Police calls appalling.
Police Chief Kim Jacobs said the officer was heard making the remarks on body camera video taken at the scene where Timothy Davis was arrested.
Cell phone video of the arrest allegedly showing Davis being kicked and punched by officers has been viewed thousands of times online.
The unnamed officer’s badge and gun have been taken away pending the investigation. Chief Jacobs said his remarks were inappropriate and unprofessional.
“The officer has been relieved of duty taken his badge and gun away from him until we know whether or not those comments reflect the type of behavior he exhibits out there on the street towards our citizens,” said Chief Jacobs in a taped statement.
The body camera footage was taken at the scene where the 31-year-old Davis was arrested inside an east side market September 1st.
Mayor Ginther said the officer in question’s comments were disturbing.
“I think the words speak for themselves and they are very clearly offensive and unacceptable,” said Mayor Ginther.
Columbus Police did not elaborate on what the officer said. Chief Jacobs said the statements are not consistent with the training of Columbus Police.
“This type of language is totally inappropriate and unprofessional and does not reflect the core values of the division of police and the many members of this division that go out there every single day to serve and protect,” said Chief Jacobs.
Mayor Ginther said he supports Chief Jacobs’ decision to remove the officer from duty and said she and the force are the best in the country.
“I know it’d be easy to allow this video to further erode the trust between the police and the community, we cannot let that happen,” said Mayor Ginther.
Chief Jacobs said she’ll let the public know the results of the internal affairs investigation. Until then, that officer’s off the streets.
Police said the officer who made the comments had no physical interaction with Davis. The arrest and alleged use of force are also under a separate investigation.
In a statement, the police department said:
The Columbus Division of Police has removed a police officer from his patrol assignment for inappropriate and unprofessional comments following an arrest on September 1, 2017. The comments were heard after a review of body camera footage stemming from the arrest of Timothy Davis. It does not appear the officer depicted in the footage was involved in the arrest of Davis.
“I am appalled by the statements made by this officer. They are not consistent with the training of our officers. Accountability and transparency are vital to our entire community and ever member of the Division. We have taken the officers badge and weapon pending further investigation,” said Chief Kimberley Jacobs. The comments depicted in the body camera footage will be investigated by the Internal Affairs Bureau. The arrest of Davis is also being investigated by Internal Affairs separately.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther spoke with NBC4’s Katie Ferrell; this interview will be aired Wednesday at 11pm. He released a statement Wednesday afternoon:
I have reviewed the body-worn camera video, and I am incredibly bothered by the words of the officer in question. I strongly support Chief Jacob’s decision to remove the officer from duty. This is unacceptable behavior for Columbus police officers – or any city employee – and cannot be tolerated. It goes against our community’s values. I appreciate Chief Jacob’s transparency, and her and swift action in this matter.
Columbus City Council members released their own statement:
Today, the above-named Columbus City Councilmembers viewed body camera footage that contained statements made by a Columbus Division of Police officer following the September 1, 2017, apprehension of Timothy Davis. We not only find these statements unacceptable and disturbing, but they are also in direct conflict with our community’s values and the policies, training, regulations and core values of the Columbus Division of Police. The Councilmembers support Chief Kim Jacobs’ swift action to take the officer’s badge and gun and immediately relieve him from duty. We also expect a complete and thorough investigation of the entire incident.