Airport Surveillance Apparently Shows Man Dragged Face-Down by Police

Mar 23, 2012 6:31pm

Authorities in Oklahoma City are investigating an incident in which surveillance footage shows police officers apparently dragging a man face-down out of the Will Rogers World Airport.

The incident occurred on Feb. 20, when James Jay Heidebrecht was arrested following a “disturbance at a security check point,” according to the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Heidebrecht was allegedly trying to get past security to speak with Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, according to ABC News’ Oklahoma City affiliate KOCO.

Gingrich was in Oklahoma but was not at the airport at the time, according to police.

“The gentleman had some mental discord. He was claiming to be the head of the CIA. He claimed he  was head of the Green Berets. He claimed a lot of things,” Oklahoma City Police spokesman Capt. Dexter Nelson told ABCNews.com. “He was not in a normal state of mind. Communication with him was not going well.”

Officers used a Taser to subdue him.  And from the surveillance footage, “I can’t tell if his face is in contact with the ground,” Nelson said.

 

abc dragged protester jef 120323 wblog Airport Surveillance Apparently Shows Man Dragged Face Down by Police

(Image credit: ABC News)

Whenever there is an arrest that involves any force other than routine handcuffing, there is an administrative and criminal investigation of the situation, said Nelson. He conceded that the incident was “more than routine handcuffing.”

One of the officers in the video has been placed on “restricted duty status,” while the others have kept their regular duties. Nelson said no action will be taken until the investigation is complete.

“[Heidebrecht has] made no complaints whatsoever. His criminal charges have been dismissed,” Nelson said. Police say the information about the internal investigation was released “in the interest of disclosure and transparency.”

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