Neighbors question police use of force in subduing a man, 80, with a gun

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Neighbors question police use of force in subduing a man, 80, with a gun

LANCASTER, OH (WCMH) — Police in Lancaster have released body-cam video of an 80-year-old man being taken into custody after a report of shots fired.  

According to the Lancaster Police Department, officers were called to the 800 block of N. Columbus Street, Saturday, after it was reported a distraught man, identified as William Brady III, was armed with a gun.  

Police say when they arrived on scene, Brady was armed with a revolver and fired a shot.  

Video shows officers approaching Brady where he appears to submit to their orders, before an officer kicks the suspect in the back, forcing him to the ground. 

“The weapon was dropped into the grass/mulch within a few feet of where he kneels. Officers do not know what his intentions are as they approach,” police wrote in a Facebook post. “The officer who forces him to the ground is pushing him away from the weapon and kneels down to secure it.” 

However, some people who witnessed what happened are questioning the actions of that officer. 

The responding officer’s arm blocks the view of his body camera, but cell phone video from Chris Sensabaugh shows the angle where an officer kicks the 80-year-old to the ground. 

“When they showed up, they kicked him all in is back,” said Sensabaugh. “I don’t know if all that was necessary though.”

Neighbors who’ve seen the video feel the same. 

“I was a little shocked honestly because I did feel the police used a little bit of excessive force,” said neighbor Kawana Bush. 

Lancaster’s Police Chief Adam Pillar said the will review this use of force as they do every single time. 

“Force is an ugly business and I try to limit our use of it as much as possible,” said Pillar.  

He said they even track how many times his department uses force each year. 

So, far in 2019, it’s been 35 times. 

“It’s something that affects us as well as the public. It’s not one sided, so I do want to limit it as much as possible.”

Sensabaugh said he hopes this department takes this situation seriously. 

According to the Facebook post, police released the video in order to be transparent, and are working to gather all the information surrounding the incident. 

Chief Pillar said no one was injured and added the suspect was admitted to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.

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