SFPD’s use of force arrest of juveniles in June deemed ‘reasonable’ following internal, state DCI review

A Sioux Falls teenager is facing charges including aggravated assault on a police officer. The...
A Sioux Falls teenager is facing charges including aggravated assault on a police officer. The charges stem from an arrest that made headlines last month after a driver allegedly dragged a police officer during an attempted stop.(KSFY)
Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 1:09 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Sioux Falls Police say officers’ use of force caught on camera in the arrest of juveniles on June 21 was deemed “reasonable” and “appropriate” following an internal and state DCI review.

On June 21, Sioux Falls Police were called to the downtown Holiday Inn at 3 am after it was reported an employee was assaulted by individuals who had been in a hotel room. As responding officers arrived, the individuals were attempting to leave a parking garage on the northside of the hotel.

In an attempt to stop the vehicle, one of the officers reached into the vehicle to shut it off but the driver rolled up the window, trapping the officer and dragging him for a short distance, according to police.

Police blocked the vehicle from leaving the parking garage and officers forcibly removed the driver.

The incident was caught on camera and has been shared on social media more than 1,700 times.

In the videos, an officer can be heard yelling “get out of the f***ing car now,” and “I will f***ing shoot you. Stop the car now,” before other officers used batons to break the vehicle’s windows. Videos also captured officers pulling backseat passengers from the vehicle.

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Following the incident, Sioux Falls Police Chief Matt Burns said the incident was under review due to the use of force, which is standard procedure.

On Thursday, Sioux Falls Police Captain Mike Colwell said the incident was reviewed by the officers’ chain of command, the department’s defensive tactics instructors, and the department’s internal affairs division. Following a formal complaint by a citizen, Chief Burns asked the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation to also review the incident.

Sioux Falls Police say the officer’s use of force was “deemed to be reasonable based on the circumstances” and “appropriate within department policies” following the reviews.

Captian Colwell says the department will not be releasing body camera video from the incident. Colwell says the department found the formal complaint “unfounded.”

The juvenile suspect is charged with aggravated assault on law enforcement, obstruction, and other charges.

21-year-old Lovetee Teah was also charged with simple assault in the incident.

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