Jonesboro police officer suspended following parking lot scuffle
JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A police officer caught on video earlier this month throwing a man to the ground outside a Jonesboro nightclub has been suspended.
The Jonesboro Police Department announced Tuesday, July 19, that Officer Joseph Harris would be suspended without pay beginning Monday, July 18 for 22 hours.
“He will also receive further training on de-escalation, use of force, and other applicable department policies,” JPD stated.
The incident happened at 1:58 a.m. Sunday, July 10, in the parking lot of 2801 Fair Park Blvd.
Officer Joseph Harris reported a group of “heavily intoxicated” people were arguing and “causing issues.”
As another officer was taking 21-year-old Blake Arnoult of Jonesboro into custody for disorderly conduct, Harris said Nicolas Anthony Silva kept asking why Arnoult was being arrested.
According to his report, Harris said a crowd began to form.
“I then informed [Silva] to place his hands behind his back,” Harris reported. “When I grabbed [Silva] he tried to pull away from me. I then took [Silva] to the ground.”
Once on the ground, Harris stated Silva continued to resist until he was able to handcuff him.
Officers took both Silva and Arnoult to the Craighead County Detention Center where they were each booked in on charges of public intoxication and disorderly conduct. Silva was also charged with refusal to submit to arrest and obstruction of governmental operations.
After the video went viral on social media, JPD placed Harris on leave and began an investigation into the “level of force used by the officers involved during the arrest.”
On July 12, the department released the following statement:
We are aware and very concerned about the use of force incident that occurred on July 10th in the parking lot of a Jonesboro night club and started circulating on social media this past weekend. Upon learning of this event, we immediately began an investigation into the level of force used by the officers involved during the arrest.
The primary officer in the incident was placed on administrative leave on Monday pending the outcome of this investigation. We will post an update once the investigation has concluded.
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