MICHIGAN CITY — Police Chief Dion Campbell is supporting his officers in a recent arrest that attracted attention on social media, while the local branch of the NAACP is asking for more information.
On Thursday, the Michigan City Police Department released an 18-minute video from the body camera of one of the officers involved in the arrest. The video, which contains graphic images and languages, is available on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/e2zA-y4Sgik.
The department said officers responded to a call Tuesday of a suspicious vehicle chasing two males on foot in the 1000 block of West Ninth Street.
It was reported that one of the of individuals involved possibly had a gun, police said.
Officers located a 26-year-old Michigan City man, Tahir Michael Kelly, who matched the description given to police. The video shows police asking Kelly for his identification and Kelly initially giving a different name than his own before providing his actual name. The video then shows officers moving to take Kelly into custody, at which point he runs away from them.
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Police are shown using a Taser to stop Kelly, who falls to the pavement, leaving his face bloodied.
“Due to the injuries sustained from the fall, the male was released from police custody to receive medical care,” the department said.
Campbell said he responded to “non-factual accounts” being made on social media about the incident by hosting a meeting Wednesday with department members, the mayor, members of the city council and immediate family members of Kelly. The president of the Northwest Indiana Ministerial Alliance also took part and a representative of the LaPorte County NAACP was invited to attend.
Body cam footage of the incident was viewed during the meeting, after which time Campbell gave his full support to his officers. The chief said the officers, “acted in accordance to the law and with professionalism.”
No details were provided about the nature of the social media posts.
The LaPorte County NAACP released a statement on Thursday saying it was aware of the incident and asking anyone who had additional photos or videos to contact the branch at 219-229-3524.
According to the statement, the branch hopes to meet with Kelly and his family.
“We must keep in mind that body camera footage may depict the dynamics of an investigative stop but may not demonstrate ALL the dynamics of a stop,” the NAACP said in the statement. “This is where all input, data, videos and discussions regarding this incident will be reviewed.”
The case has been forwarded to county prosecutors with a request for an arrest warrant on three misdemeanor charges of providing a false identity, resisting law enforcement and carrying a firearm without a permit. Police said Kelly has two active warrants for failure to appear for misdemeanor offenses.