Veteran Clarksville officer under investigation over claims of excessive force
Police body cam video appears to show a suspected drug dealer trying to run from police custody. What happened next prompted an investigation into one of the officers' actions.
CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- A veteran police officer with the Clarksville Police Department has been taken off the streets and stripped of his police powers as authorities investigate claims he used excessive force against a suspected drug dealer.
Video taken from a Clarksville Police Department cruiser recorded the vehicle pursuit, which started early Sunday morning in Indiana. The suspect, Ray Maurice Bard, led police on a chase all the way across the river and into Louisville's Portland neighborhood, where Bard crashed and took off on foot.
Police eventually tased Bard in order to take him into custody, and he was placed in handcuffs. According to an arrest report, officers found drugs -- including methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and prescription pills -- on his person.
In the video, Bard is helped to his feet, but then he appears to try to run away again, handcuffs and all.
"Oh, there he goes again!" an officer says on the video.
Police tased him again.
"Oh, why you do it to me?" Bard demanded on the video.
"Why did you run again?" an officer responded.
This time, officers dragged Bard back to the cruiser.
"You hurt my arm!" Bard shouted.
"Well, stand up!" an officer replied.
"I can't," Bard said.
What happened next prompted an investigation involving a veteran Clarksville officer, and it's captured on police body camera video. An officer can be seen punching Bard.
"Awe, damn, dog, you going to steal me," Bard said.
Clarksville Police are not talking on camera but released a statement confirming that the man who threw the punch was Sgt. Jason Tackett.
Tackett is a 12-year veteran of the police department and has been involved in several tense situations, including delivering a baby on the side of the road, being shot at and his police cruiser being rammed head-on by a suspect.
Bard is in jail now, but family members released images of him in the hospital right after his arrest.
Meanwhile, according to a probable cause affidavit, Bard also uses the alias Raymond Smithers Jr., and several police agencies "had active felony warrants for his arrest."
Tackett's police personnel file contained no record of any previous disciplinary actions. Once the internal investigation is done, it will be turned over to the Clarksville board of safety directors.
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