A screenshot from Asheville police bodycam footage of officers arresting Devon Whitmire May 13.
Through the Asheville Police Department,
has released body camera footage showing the violent May 13 arrest of Devon Whitmire, 27, after video footage taken by bystanders led to outrage among those who said police used excessive force.
According to the May 25 APD news release the video allows the public to see the events surrounding the arrest. The public can also hear the words spoken by Whitmire as he was approached by officers.
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Whitmire was arrested outside his home in the Erskine-Walton neighborhood, wrestled to the ground by at least three officers, one of whom pressed her arm across his throat, as seen in bystander video.
Whitmire was being sought by APD after his family members reported he made violent threats, according to the release. APD said they are also releasing a portion of an audio recording of the family member who called authorities to report the threat from Whitmire days before his arrest.
The audio recordings can be found at the beginning of the cut-together clips posted by APD with the title “Full Video” on the YouTube page. There are three videos of the “raw footage,” ranging from around 10 minutes to just under 30 minutes. The “full video” provided by APD is 20 minutes long.
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Background on the video’s release
The city of Asheville asked a judge to allow the release of the footage May 19. The petition was granted by Buncombe County Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Grant May 22.
The order came later in the same day as a bond hearing overseen by Buncombe County District Court Judge Edwin Clontz.
According to reporting from the topnewsplanet, Clontz criticized the arrest of Whitmire, a Black man, by the three white officers, saying they “didn’t act appropriately” by grabbing him without giving him a chance to submit and putting arms “across his face, then across his neck” when he was handcuffed on the ground.
He also said Whitmire did not act appropriately, adding that he lied about his name and “kicked after he was handcuffed” and therefore would continue to be held in the county jail under a high $85,000 bond his attorney had asked the judge to reduce.