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Captain Tom Easley of the Norman Police Department issued a statement about a smartphone video that appears to show two Norman police officers and OUPD police officer restraining a man on OU’s campus.
The statement included the arrest report as well as the court records of the suspect, identified as Willie Cannon, a 23-year-old homeless man.
The statement acknowledged the video and recognized that its content could appear disturbing. However, Norman Police Chief Keith Humphrey said the arresting officers’ actions were justified given the circumstances.
“The use of force never looks good, and the application of force by an officer is never received as a positive action by the community,” Humphrey said in the statement. “However, when we educate our community regarding why officers may have to utilize force it can reduce the negative perceptions that come with the actions.”
Furthermore, the arrest report included witness testimony that Cannon alleged of masturbating on Campus Corner, and that he had resisted arrest when confronted by an officer.
Humphrey said that further details about the arrest would be forthcoming “in the very near future.”