Chief Ken Miller

Chief Ken Miller responds to allegations of excessive force used in arrest (Source: FOX Carolina)

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - Friday, the Greenville Police Department and the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services held a press conference responding to allegations from 62-year-old Cassandra Johnson claiming police used excessive force in her arrest. 

Chief Ken Miller told the media that on October 29, police responded to a call to assist the DPPPS in the serving of two arrest warrants for Julius Johnson, one of which was for criminal domestic violence. 

Chief Miller said the reason DPPS and, subsequently the GPD were on scene, is an address on probation paperwork tied Julius Johnson to his mother's address on Emmaline Street in Greenville. 

Chief Miller stated that allegations of police brutality and the hog-tying of a suspect did not happen.  He refuted Mrs. Johnson's claim that she had never been to jail, saying in-fact she has several times. He also refuted the claims that Johnson was compliant and never put her hands on officers.  

The GPD released video from two officer's body cams and from a DPPPS agent showing the entire incident unfold. 

Chief Miller said when officer's arrived on scene, they gave the warrant to Mrs. Johnson and tried to explain that if they could search the home for Johnson, they would be on their way. 

After repeated requests to enter the home, police say Johnson tried to push officers away and shut the door on them, at which time police pulled Johnson out of the home and used force to take her to the ground. 

Chief Miller said despite using minimal force, the use of a take-down is always defined as force.  He went on to say that officers are trained to put people on the ground when they resist to be able to secure them in the safest manner possible for the officer.

After taking Johnson into custody, her son Jermaine, who police say advanced on them, was also taken to the ground where police deployed the use of a Ripp Hobble to bind his ankles together, and handcuffed him.  

Chief Miller says at no time was the suspect hog-tied. 

Police say if DPPPS could have done the job alone, without resistance, Greenville Police wouldn't have to have been called to assist. 

The suspect police were seeking at the home, Julius Johnson, turned himself in at the Law Enforcement Center Friday evening.

Following is a press release from Chief Miller:

At a press briefing this morning, Chief Ken Miller provided a chronicled narrative and supporting video evidence that shows officers from the Greenville Police Department (GPD) and agents from the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services (DPPPS) performed their duties appropriately during the attempted service of two lawful arrest warrants on the morning of October 29, 2018 at a house located at 15-A Emmaline Street.

As a result of obstructing the service of the arrest warrants, two subjects, 62-year-old Cassandra Johnson and her son, 36-year-old Jermaine Johnson, were arrested by the GPD for Interfering with Police. 

Over the last several days, there have been multiple allegations of wrongdoing on the part of our officers. Today Chief Miller expressed his concerns about information provided to- and reported by- local media outlets, which he said included false and inflammatory representations of events.

“We depend on the trust and cooperation of our citizens, and it is a responsibility we work to earn each and every day,” Chief Miller said. “Reporting details that are inaccurate or not fully vetted, needlessly inflames community relationships, adds unnecessary tension, complicates our ability to deliver effective police services, and potentially creates safety issues for our officers and our citizens.”

During the press briefing, Chief Miller explained that even routine events require a lot of time to gather and verify relevant information and materials. These include witness statements, incident reports, video files and other critical documents. It is an important, time-consuming process that requires a thorough analysis of all relevant evidence from all available sources.

“We recognize that the public has a vested interest in these events and are seeking the truth; however, it is imperative that we are given the necessary latitude to gather and vet the facts,” Chief Miller said. “After reviewing all information associated with this incident with my staff and other respected community leaders, the overwhelming consensus is that our officers and the DPPPS agents performed their duties properly and professionally.

“The reality is that this situation could have been entirely prevented had the Johnsons simply allowed officers to perform their lawful duties.”

Related: Grandmother files formal complaint claiming Greenville police officers used excessive force

Copyright 2018 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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