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Mayor, police chief back APD officer beaten in arrest attempt

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Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 10:14 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 2, 2020 at 3:54 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Alexandria police chief and mayor are backing the police officer who was beaten while trying to make an arrest at Rapides Regional Medical Center. The video of the altercation was caught on camera and posted on social media causing controversy across the area and nation.

On Thursday, the mayor and police chief released the body camera footage to the public and broke down what they say it shows. (Please note: The video contains graphic content.)

The body camera footage starts with APD officer Adam Dupuy asking Johnathan Rhodes, 20, and two other people in a truck on the medical center’s property, to turn down their music.

They eventually turned off the music, however, sometime later, the music was turned on again. Dupuy asked them to leave the property. Rhodes said they can’t because they are waiting on a friend. After some discussion, they leave in the truck.

APD said Corporal Dupuy then went back into the emergency room for his normal duties. After about ten minutes, Rhodes and the two other individuals are seen back on the medical center’s property, this time, outside of hospital doors, where Dupuy then confronts them.

Dupuy handcuffs Elijah McCall, 21, and the officer then asks Rhodes to back up towards him to arrest him. The two struggled. Chief King said Dupuy put his palm on the side of Rhodes’ head, but never pulled his hair— that’s when the struggle happened. Rhodes then punched Corporal Dupuy, knocking him unconscious. Rhodes then began to beat Dupuy.

“Corporal Dupuy draws his duty weapon and Mr. Rhodes grabs the weapon attempting to take it. Mr. Rhodes states in his interview with detectives, he’s reaching for his real gun, so I tried to grab it from him. Mr. Rhodes also states I was holding the gun, not the gun but his wrist,” Chief King said.

Bystanders and backup police officers then intervened—the officer tased Rhodes and all three suspects were taken into custody.

“During questioning Mr. Rhodes is told by the investigators that the officer could have shot him and Mr. Rhodes replied yes that is why I said I expletive up.” said King. “In addition during his interview, Mr. Rhodes was asked by the investigators if he had any questions and he replied I mean whoever talks to the officer tell him I was serious when I said I was sorry. That’s all I want you to tell him.”

Chief King said Rhodes apologized multiple times during questioning, asking to apologize to Corporal Dupuy.

Video of the incident created a firestorm on social media about whether the officer handled the situation correctly—even grabbing the attention of rapper 50 Cent and Los Angeles activist Tariq Nasheed even paid Rhodes’ bond. But the mayor and police chief on Thursday backed Corporal Dupuy.

“Understand that for telling you, telling you that the officer acted reasonably is not adequate in this situation. We want you to see for yourself,” said Mayor Jeff Hall, City of Alexandria.

”I find that Corporal Dupuy acted in a professional and competent manner, but he exhibited great restraint in what could have been easily turned into a far deadlier situation,” said King. “I want to commend him on his professionism and demeanor before, during and after the incident. I fully support his actions and I am thankful that he did not suffer even greater injuries or worse.

There was also speculation that Dupuy spat on Rhodes. Chief King said that didn’t happen. Officials say they aren’t expecting any new charges in the case. The city also said that Dupuy will not go through an internal investigation.

The body camera from the second officer was not released, but the city said that video could be released soon.

“There are people who want citizens of Alexandria to pick a side regarding this difficult issue. And as your mayor, I say don’t fall in that trap, please. You can be for equality and support the police who protect and serve you. You can disagree with someone’s point of view and still be kind,” said Mayor Hall.

THE FOLLOWING VIDEO IS THE ENTIRE PRESS CONFERENCE ON JULY 2

WARNING: The contents of the video contain graphic language and content. Viewer discretion is advised.

City of Alexandria Press Conference 7/2/20

Happening Now: The City of Alexandria is holding a press conference at the Public Safety Complex regarding the incident at Rapides Regional over the weekend. (WARNING: Possible graphic language and content.)

Posted by KALB News Channel 5 on Thursday, July 2, 2020

Copyright 2020 KALB. All rights reserved.

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