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Rory Spain, who can be seen beating a handcuffed woman in a lengthy video released by the department, was placed on paid administrative leave. The DeWitt Police Department is investigating the incident, according to department spokesman Lt. Jerry Pace.
DeWitt police body camera footage, store video, and customer video show that Officer Spain struck a woman when she tried to bite him during an arrest. She was handcuffed at the time. The woman’s name is Tyreana Edmonds, according to DeWitt police. She faces multiple charges including attempted assault on a police officer, second degree stalking and disorderly conduct.
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Rory Spain’s age is unknown.
Charges – Arrested
DeWitt police body camera footage and passerby video show Officer Rory Spain beating the woman when she tried to bite him while he attempted to arrest her.
“Conclusions as to whether the officers’ actions are consistent with department policy and the law will not be made until all the facts are known and the investigation is complete,” Pace said.
In an unusual move, DeWitt police created a 15-minute narrated video of the incident using body camera clips from different officers, store surveillance cameras and a passerby’s phone. The video was posted on the department’s Facebook page. The incident occurred around 4:55 p.m. July 4 at East Syracuse Walmart on Basile Row.
Agents were sent to the store for a report of fights between five or six people and told that “employees were being threatened, beaten in the face and that customers had also been sprayed with pepper spray,” Pace said.
Tyreana Edmonds, the woman who was beaten, faces multiple charges stemming from her altercation with others at the store, police said. She has also been charged with attempted second-degree assault on a police officer for attempting to bite Spain, police said. Another woman Edmonds identified in the video as her sister, Tajenik Byrd, was also charged. Pace said Byrd used pepper spray during an argument with other people at the store.
According to body camera images released by the DeWitt Police Department, a man at the Walmart entrance directed Spain towards two women, the man allegedly involved in the reported fight.
Surveillance of the store shows the previous altercation that lasted about 30 seconds. In the video narration, Pace said Byrd pepper sprayed another woman. Byrd can be seen pointing something in his hand at another woman in the store. The woman then covers her face and takes her children out of the area.
As Spain walked over to Edmonds, she could be seen in photos of her arguing with another customer. Spain grabbed Edmonds from behind her arm and started handcuffing her.
Byrd approached the officer and tried to push Edmonds away. Note: You can view the full video posted by DeWitt Police here.
“Get off my sister,” Byrd said.
“Drop it,” Edmonds said. “… Let me handcuff myself.”
As Spain tries to arrest Edmonds, another person told the officer that Byrd had used pepper spray during an earlier altercation. They tried to accuse my sister, ”Edmonds said in response to the woman. “They jumped on my sister two days ago. My sister is one month pregnant. ”
Officer Corey Buyck knocked Byrd to the ground and straddled Byrd while he handcuffed her.
Clients surrounded the officers and yelled at them as they tried to arrest Edmonds and Byrd. Spain finally got the Taser out of him.
As Spain tried to arrest Edmonds, she collapsed to the ground and kicked a display of plastic boxes. She dragged Edmonds by the handcuffs and a leg, the video shows. She turned her head to try to bite Spain, who then punched her across the face.
Edmonds was charged with:
Attempted second degree assault on a police officer
Obstruction of government administration
Fourth degree criminal mischief
Second degree bullying
Byrd was charged with:
Assault in the third degree
Fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon
Endangering the welfare of a child
Possession of harmful material
Obstruction of government administration
Both women were later released on appearance tickets.
A protest of about 25 people took place on Friday night in the parking lot of the Department DeWitt Police Department.
Rebirth SYR leader Hasahn Bloodworth said he organized the protest to hold law enforcement accountable.
As the protest was drawing to a close, at least three vehicles entered and began to drive through the parking lot. One protester said that he felt that the people in the vehicles were trying to intimidate them.
A woman in a van parked in the parking lot left her vehicle and began yelling at the remaining protesters as she told him.