Newly obtained bodycam and surveillance footage seems to corroborate the claims made in a lawsuit filed by a former Washington State University football player against the Pullman (Wash.) Police Department.
According to KXLY, in October, former WSU football player Treshon Broughton filed a federal complaint alleging two of its officers used excessive force, violated his due process rights and “intentionally misrepresented events” to arrest him without cause.
In the fall of 2017, Broughton was at Bob’s Corner Market making a purchase when he was suddenly accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill at the campus convenience store. He was never charged for the alleged offense and no counterfeit bill was ever found, but that still didn’t stop the responding officers from roughing him up.
A police report obtained by the Spokesman-Review confirmed a store employee called 911 just before 2 a.m. after Broughton got into a brief verbal altercation with a woman and her boyfriend as he left the store. Witnesses reported Broughton was drunk at the time.
Fortunately things quickly calmed down, and the employee told the dispatcher that “everything was good,” and police weren’t needed on the scene after all.
The new surveillance video released by the department now shows Broughton enter the store minutes after leaving, walking behind an officer identified in the suit as Shane Emerson. From that point on, the officer Emerson’s body camera also captures their interaction.
First the store employee tells the officer that Broughton tried using a fake $20 bill earlier that evening.
“You got ID with you, partner?” Emerson asks Broughton, briefly placing his hand on the young man’s arm.
“Yeah, I got ID, I’ll take it out,” Broughton replies, rummaging through his pockets. “It’s probably around here somewhere. You can see whatever.”
“K, I need to see it,” the officer says.
As Broughton places the contents from his pockets onto the counter, Emerson grabs for his arm again, prompting the young man to pull it away. That’s when the officer suddenly calls for backup and instructs him to place his hands behind his back.
“I don’t want to get arrested,” Broughton shouts. “I’m showing you my ID!”
“I don’t care about your ID right now,” Emerson responds.
At that point Officer Alex Gordon enters store, and helps Emerson tackle the young man to the ground. Emerson is then seen repeatedly punching the side of Broughton’s head. As they struggle to restrain the stunned student one of the officers pulls out a stun gun and Tasers Broughton in the back before placing him in handcuffs.
Broughton was later cleared of the charges, and in his suit argues the officers arrested him without probable cause and then prepared police reports that “intentionally misrepresented events” to support false charges of obstructing law enforcement and resisting arrest.
The body cam video also shows Emerson fabricating details of the incident to those present in the crowded store.
“Then he starts pulling away and trying to run, so we’re trying to get him on the ground, and he was fighting,” he tells students curious about what prompted the violent arrest. “I had enough reason to detain him and he was completely fighting.”
After Broughton’s arrest, when Emerson inquired about the counterfeit $20 bill, the store clerk couldn’t seem to find it.