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APD officer charged with assault after video recorded incident
was written by Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media , 2019-10-12 02:09:37
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An Anchorage police officer is charged with two counts of assault in connection with a Sept. 30 incident that led to an internal investigation.
The confrontation was uploaded to YouTube by the victim, an online activist with a record of strong anti-police sentiment.
According to charging documents, 32-year-old APD Officer Cornelius Pettus stopped a bicyclist to issue a citation over a lack of lights or reflectors. The cyclist, 49-year-old Samuel Allen, swore at the officer and biked away while filming the encounter on his smart-phone. Not long after, Pettus and another officer went to Allen’s house and dropped off a citation. Once again, Allen was filming the incident.
In the video, Allen can be heard leaving his house, and walking towards the officers as he yells swears and derogatory slurs at them.
Allen’s video is almost pitch black, but the audio is clear. The officer grabs his phone away from him, saying it’s now “evidence” in the bike citation incident. Allen demands he give it back. Then there’s a scuffle.
“What’s up? What’s up? You want more?” Pettus asks.
According to the charges against Officer Pettus, he punched the other man in the jaw, then kicked him in the groin. At some point, Allen is pepper-sprayed before the two officers subdue and handcuff him, then they arrest him for resisting arrest.
Initially the officer reported Allen had taken a confrontational stance and challenged him to fight as he balled his fists. But investigators found that those claims were contradicted by police dash-cam footage of the incident. According to the charging documents, when he was asked about the discrepancy Pettus said,”That’s how I remember it,” and did not recall kicking Allen in the groin.
The fact that Allen recorded the whole incident is not an accident. In a YouTube channel he runs called Northern Corruption Monitor 907, Allen identifies himself as a “first amendment auditor.” Those are individuals who film businesses, police and public officials, often in a confrontational style to demonstrate their belief in free speech rights. Allen’s channel has several videos with provocative anti-police messages, including a recent one involving an APD training dog being dragged to a bathroom break that generated a small amount of local controversy.
Allen could not be reached for comment.
Speaking to reporters at APD headquarters on Friday, Police Chief Justin Doll said that Pettus did not follow tactics like deescalation and conflict management taught to officers in training.
“The fact that the officers didn’t follow our normal training guidelines or policy guidelines is evident in the fact that ultimately the officer was charged with an assault,” Doll said.
As the assault case moves forward in state court, APD says it will conduct its own internal investigation to determine whether Pettus keeps his job. In the meantime, he’s on administrative leave with pay.
Doll said he hopes that by drawing attention to misconduct by members of the police force when such incidents occur, the department can further grow public trust.
“I think that we’ve proven to the community that we take those things very seriously, we take the appropriate action and then we’re very transparent with the community and tell everybody when it happens,” Doll said.
According to APD, there’s an internal investigation into a second officer who was present during the incident, but at this point no charges have been filed.
Often the more informative material are not sweeping esoteric research but intimate experiences highlighting individuals and small communities. Conversely, paradoxically it is sometimes the largest organizations that provide the more entertaining and useful accounts. As expected there is also a place for tourism statistical research or policy assessment. Expert articles about traveling to Alaska, America’s icebox including APD officer charged with assault after video recorded incident assist us to explore the far reaching topics of sustainable tourism.
Irrespective of whether it comes from influencers or common movements in general the public desire sustainable tourism and would like to be responsible vacationers. Alaska is a destination where sustainable hospitality and travel is essential.
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Tongass National Forest. The Tongass is the largest national forest within the United States. It received it’s name from the Tongass Clan of the Tlingit native people and dates back to 1902 when President Theodore Roosevelt established the Alexander Archipelago Forest Reserve. In 1908 the forest was renamed and expanded and these days the 16.9 million-acre Tongass National Forest stretches from the Pacific ocean to the large inland ice fields that border British Columbia and from the southern tip of Prince of Wales Island to Malaspina Glacier 500 miles to the north. More than 80 percent of Southeast Alaska is in Tongass and with its thousands of islands, fjords and bays the national forest offers 11,000 miles of shoreline. Tongass’ vast coastal rain forest includes towering hemlock, spruce and red and yellow cedar. The undergrowth underneath thegiant conifers is made up of young evergreens and shrubs including devil’s club, blueberry and huckleberry. Moss and ferns cover the ground, and lichens drape numerous trees and rocks.
Wildlife is abundant all through Tongass. Sitka blacktail deer and its two main predators, wolf and brown bear, are found here. Black bear are common as well as mountain goats and some moose. Marine mammals discovered along the shores include Dall and harbor porpoises, seals and humpback, minke and orca whales and a thriving population of sea otters. The rich waters teem with fish such as halibut and all five species of Pacific salmon. More bald eagles live in this area than in any other spot in the world. Although the place to find the world’s greatest temperate rain forest, just about half of Tongass is covered by ice, water, wetlands and rock. It’s most legendary ice floe is the Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska’s “Drive-in glacier” since it is merely 13 miles from downtown Juneau along a paved road. A boat ride through Petersburg or Wrangell brings everyone near the face of LeConte Glacier, the southernmost tidewater glacier on the continent. Merely 30 miles north of Yakutat is Hubbard Glacier, the longest tidewater glacier in the world and very easily Alaska’s most active. The 76-mile-long glacier has crossed Russell Fjord several times, lately in 2008. The rip tides and currents that flow in front of the 8-mile-wide glacier are so strong they cause Hubbard to calve almost continuously. The Tongass incorporates nineteen wilderness areas, including the 545-sq-mile Russell Fjord Wilderness, as well as Admiralty Island National Monument and Misty Fiords National Monument. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and the general area around Haines and Skagway aren’t part of the national forest.