Man’s family responds after viral video shows jail officer using threats in Muncie
MUNCIE, Ind. — Dramatic video of a jail corrections officer attempting to arrest a man he claims was breaking into his daughter’s home is getting the attention of city and community leaders.
Now, the man’s family is responding and they are demanding justice.
The situation unfolded when Muncie Police received a call of someone attempting to open car doors and look into windows. One of the homes was the daughter of Delaware County Jail Officer, Jerry Shaner.
Shaner found out about the incident and left work when he came across the man, Kenny Watson. Watson said Shaner jumped out of his car and pinned him to the ground. Watson was held and restrained with handcuffs. Watson said he was threatened to be tased and that later, Shaner’s daughter brought a gun to the scene, which was also used.
“You move, your brains are going to be all over this (expletive) pavement. You understand me?” Shaner can be heard saying in the video.
When Muncie Police arrived, they released Watson after finding the man did nothing wrong and wouldn't be criminally charged. Watson has a mental illness and many Muncie Police Officers are familiar with the man.
"When we got there, we realized who he was and what we were dealing with and then sent him on his way," explained Muncie Police Chief Joe Winkle.
The Delaware County Sheriff's Office placed Shaner on paid administrative leave. Watson's family is calling for the officer to be both fired and criminally charged.
"We won’t stand for that. Something has to be done about that. He needs to be charged and he needs his job loss and he needs to be prosecuted. If you abuse your power, you should lose your power. It’s that simple," said Watson's brother, Schaivon Nevings.
One law enforcement expert who wanted to remain anonymous said because Shaner is not a reserve officer, he didn’t believe Shaner had the authority to detain or arrest someone. Another expert, who also wanted to remain anonymous, said the situation could potentially be considered citizen’s arrest.
Watson's family filed a formal complaint with the Muncie Human Rights Commission. The family also plans to file a civil lawsuit. The Delaware County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident and will determine if any charges will be filed.
They released a statement saying in part:
"While all the facts surrounding the case remain unclear, the Sheriff's Office is committed to upholding the public's trust as well as requiring the highest level of professionalism from our personnel. We are taking this matter seriously and will gather all relevant facts before making any determination or further statements."