Dashcam video disputes woman's claim against police

POSTED: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - 9:07pm

UPDATED: Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 9:19am

Baton Rouge Police Union attorney Charlie Dirks is appealing the suspension handed down to his client, Sgt. Bobby Schilling, after he allegedly drug a woman out of a ditch, by her hair back in September 2011.

Dashcam video, released Tuesday, May 8 by BRPD allegedly shows the woman repeatedly striking an officer near the scene of a traffic accident. Dirks said this is the proof that exonerates his client.

"Officer Schilling actually stayed one level of force below what she used," Dirks said.

Dirks said the police department trains and permits all officers to use one level above the amount of force that a suspect uses. According to that training, Dirks said the officer was actually authorized to strike the woman with a baton or use his taser.

"He was authorized to use much more significant force to gain compliance," said Dirks. "He chose not to. He chose to use a lesser form of force to gain compliance, which was grabbing her hair to get her out of the ditch."

Dirks admits Sgt. Schilling did grab the woman by her hair, but again, referring to the officer training manual, he said police are trained to control a person's head during a struggle.

"There is no specific technique on controlling a head," Dirks said. "That's the whole point. Control by whatever means you can."

We reached out to Baton Rouge Police to get their response to the video, they said they had no comment on this matter. Schilling's appeal is still being processed. The woman in the video has filed suit against Schilling and Baton Rouge Police.

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