Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson on Monday said he has launched an investigation into an alleged image from a use of force arrest last year that appears to show a deputy with a knee on the neck of a suspect.
Nelson said he was just made aware of the incident Monday morning and would “investigate it thoroughly.”
“The neck is considered a sensitive area when you’re taking someone into custody or using force,” he said. “So we’ll review the situation and we will take the action necessary to remedy the situation.”
In a lengthy and heavily redacted police report released on Monday evening, one of the arresting deputies wrote: “I knelt down and placed my right knee on the left side of her face, pinning it to the ground with my body weight.”
You can see the entire report below:2019-000185861 Redacted
A Facebook user last week posted a video screenshot of the alleged incident to a Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page post from late May.
The Sheriff’s Office post was the joint statement from the Oregon Police Chiefs, Sheriffs, and State Police Superintendent condemning the “reprehensible actions and tactics demonstrated in Minneapolis that resulted in the tragic death of George Floyd.”
A former Minneapolis police officer has been charged with murder after kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, causing Floyd to lose consciousness and later die. The incident has prompted worldwide outcry over police brutality and put law enforcement use of force tactics under the microscope.
Later Monday, the agency issued a statement:
“This morning, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office became aware of a photo circulating on social media that appeared to show two of our deputies holding down a female subject, while one of them had a knee on or near her neck. The photo appears to be a screen shot of cell phone video taken on June 11, 2019.
The cell phone video was captured while deputies were at a residence in Deschutes River Woods on June 11, 2019, enforcing an Order of Assistance: Recover a Child Under Immediate Danger, signed in Deschutes County Circuit Court.
“The mother was resisting and blocking deputies and repeatedly called 911 while the deputies were at the residence attempting to locate the child. The mother received warnings about the crime of Improper Use of 911, yet after they left the residence, she called 911 again when no emergency existed. Deputies returned to the residence to arrest her for Improper Use of 911 when this incident of force occurred.
“Sheriff Nelson has ordered a complete review of this image and the force depicted in it. The sheriff’s office takes these matters very seriously and he promises a complete review of the force utilized by the two deputies. We are working to obtain a copy of the video from the subject that posted the image to social media.
“A copy of the DCSO police reports from this incident are available upon request. As the criminal case is still working its way through the courts, names and other protected information has been redacted.”
You can watch Nelson’s full statement to Central Oregon Daily News and see the image in question below.
This is a developing story. Check back later for more.