“He’s not in trouble, but to keep things aboveboard, we put him on administrative leave until an internal investigation is fully complete. I’m not saying he did anything wrong, but we’re trying to show we’re not trying to sweep this under the rug or cover it up.” –Chief Christopher Kaiser
Does this video look like it shows an officer who should not be in trouble?
Washington Township police officer Eric Hart has officially been placed on administrative leave, EVEN THOUGH HE’S TOTES NOT IN TROUBLE, after this video of his terrorizing a Toledo, Ohio, family outside their home surfaced.
As the backstory goes, Hart pulled over Cassandra Meyers for a routine traffic stop, and when her father-in-law, Aaron Tatkowski, arrived in a second car, the officer told him to get back in his car.
That’s when the stories start to differ.
Hart, according to the Toledo Blade, claims the man said, “I’m [expletive] sick of you cops. I’m [expletive] sick of you harassing people for no reason,” and resisted the order to return to his vehicle. According to the Daily Dot, the man did nothing wrong, saying “Next thing you know, I’m yanked out of the truck and it made my girlfriend say a few things. He yanked her out of the truck.” Then the video picks it up from there.
Hart has also been suspended from the local school system:
Officer Hart also works for Toledo Public Schools as a school resource officer. On Tuesday, administrators put Officer Hart on paid administrative leave pending Washington’s Township inquiry, said Patty Mazur, district spokesman. She said Officer Hart has worked for TPS about 20 months.
Hart is on paid leave, but the family members in the video are the ones facing charges. The question is: Are they justified?
Mr. Tatkowski, 40, was charged with misconduct at an emergency, obstructing official business, and resisting arrest. He was arraigned Monday in Toledo Municipal Court, pleaded not guilty, and was released from the Lucas County jail on his own recognizance.
Ms. Meyers, 21, was arrested and booked into the Lucas County jail Sunday night for obstructing official business, tampering with evidence, fictitious plates, and a tax payment warrant.
Surely we’ll see more follow-ups to this follow-up.