Battle Creek police investigating video of officers arresting disabled man

Posted at 3:49 PM, Dec 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 19:07:14-05

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Officials with the Battle Creek Police Department are investigating video of a traffic stop where officers appear to be dragging a disabled man to their car. Chief Jim Blocker said there's more to the story than what was shown in the video.

"I think they did everything they could within the circumstance that they had to deal with," said Chief Blocker during an interview at the station.

The video surfaced Thursday night on social media and was shared to FOX 17.

Warning: Video contains strong language.

Police said in a statement that the officers stopped the driver at Washington Avenue and Emmett Street initially because of a suspended license and an arrest warrant.  The video shows the man lying on the ground, claiming that he can't walk and asking for his walker.  The officer knew the driver from prior incidents.

"The officer did also know that he had a disability, that he did have a walker, that he did walk with the assistance of a cane," said Chief Blocker. "I think that weighed a lot in terms of how the officer and other officers responded to this particular incident."

He said the man was not complying with officers and would not work with them when his walker was brought out of his car.

"Ultimately they brought his walker forward," said Chief Blocker. "He didn’t want to use it and so they had to lift him."

Police said no official complaint has been filed regarding the traffic stop.  They're reviewing all video and audio sources from the area and will be making an official statement next week.

The driver was taken to Bronson hospital in Kalamazoo and was released back into police custody, police said.  He is awaiting arraignment at the Calhoun County Jail.