Davenport Chief of Police Frank Donchez issued an online statement defending his handling of two officers accused of police brutality.
Brandie Redell says she is working with a Chicago-based civil rights group Living and Driving While Black to pursue possible legal action against the department. Redell was caught shoplifting at a Von Maur store at NorthPark Mall, and surveillance video from the store shows Redell, her daughter, two police officers and store employees in an office when an altercation happens between the police officers and Redell.
Redell says she was calling her boyfriend to pick up their daughter when the altercation happened. Redell says one officer held her legs while the other punched her repeatedly, leaving her with a black eye and damage to her vision.
Donchez says the officers involved were disciplined but that their conduct did not warrant anyone losing their job. He did not elaborate on the details of the discipline.
Donchez posted a formal statement on the department’s Facebook page Wednesday, August 7, 2013:
Thank you for your comments. I understand your concern and want you to know that no law enforcement agency condones neither unwarranted nor unjustified use of force. However, due to limited public knowledge and information, I don’t know how you can make judgment based on viewing a few seconds of video.
First, when this occurred in February 2013, an internal affairs investigation was immediately initiated. It included interviews with all witnesses, review of the officers’ audio tapes and a review of the entire video tape. Following the investigation, appropriate disciplinary action was taken.
Second, the case, including the video, was reviewed by the Scott County District Attorney who concluded that there was insufficient evidence to file criminal charges on the officer.
I express regret for any unpleasantness and concern this may have caused you involving such a critical issue. Discipline is a complex process and by having all of the factual and realistic information, information not available to the public, my decision was made in the best interest of the community.
Chief of Police
Davenport Police Department
A representative from Living and Driving While Black Foundation confirmed their organization is working with Redell to pursue legal action in connection with the incident.