FORREST CITY, AR - A video circulating around Facebook of a man arrested by an off duty officer with the Forrest City Police Department is facing much controversy.
The incident happened at a Walmart in Forrest City, Arkansas.
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The video shows the off duty police officer drawing a gun and arresting a man inside the Walmart.
Darren Smith, the officer in the video, is now under investigation.
FOX13 showed the video to retired Captain Bennie Cobb with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. He said the incident had the potential to turn badly.
“If he was acting in his lawful authority than he was justified in responding in the way that he did,” Cobb said. “His actions and tactics were inappropriate, unsafe, and not tactically sound.”
Cobb said the most disturbing tactic is the drawn gun.
“There’s potential for accidental discharge,” Cobb said. “There’s potential for this suspect to take the weapon from him. There’s potential for a struggle to happen and an innocent person to get shot.”
Cobb said the suspect in the video is not resisting arrest and said the off duty officer should have called for backup.
“There’s always strength in numbers,” Cobb explained. “Another officer may have prevented this officer from having to pull out his gun.”
FOX13 made several calls to the Forrest city Police Department to ask about the video and about any reprehensions for Officer Smith.
A representative with the Forrest City Police department could not comment on the incident until after the investigation.
FOX 13 took the video to the Walmart’s corporate office. They office sent an email statement that states:
“We take this situation seriously and will continue to work with law enforcement.” –Leslee Wright, Senior Manager of Corporate Communications
Cobb said in some jurisdictions the officer in the video could face charges for pulling his weapon like he did.
“There was no justification in after 37 years of law enforcement and training, there was no justification for him to even pull his gun.”
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