Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware says he did not see anything in a video between a police officer and an EMT that upholds claims of improper use of force. Chief Ware said Thursday at a news conference there will be no action taken against the officer and that he believed he acted in a way, considering the circumstance, he thought was best. This comes after a video surfaced on social media of an officer putting his hands on an EMT in front of a crowd of people coming from bars. Ware said the situation started when medics were caring for a victim who was kicking medical personnel. “This gentleman got punched and was knocked out, and he had a lot of alcohol. Typically in our line of work when they come to, the last thing they remember was they were in a fight,” told Life Medical Response Capt. Jon Jenkins. But Jenkins says the situation became dangerous.
“If you’ve seen the video, I’m right up against the gentleman and he’s trying to bite me and he’s trying to punch and I took quite a few kicks and knees thrown,” Jenkins said. Jenkins asked the responding officer to use a Taser in an attempt to control the patient. Another medic on the scene didn’t hear the request and originally thought the victim could have a head injury. The medic grabbed the officer on the left shoulder, which isn’t shown in the original video, and the officer reacts by moving the medic out of the way. Ware said the officer grabbed the medic first under the armpit and then by the clavicle, not by the throat. He said the two men parted ways amicably. Body camera video was used by two officers with Shawnee State University in the investigation. Police are still trying to identify a suspect involved in the original fight that led to the call.