LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- The Lafayette Police Department has released a Youtube video responding to an investigation against three officers. They are accused of using excessive force with a K-9 while responding to a 9-1-1 call.
Richard Bailey Junior is claiming the officers used excessive force because of his race. The Youtube video includes additional bodycam footage and audio of the incident. The bodycam footage News 18 received for the initial story came from Bailey's lawyers.
In the video, Lafayette Police Chief Patrick Flannelly said the bodycam footage previously released doesn't necessarily show the whole picture. He said he hopes this additional footage helps tell a more factual story.
An external investigation involving three Lafayette police officers is underway.
The Madison County prosecutor has reached out to Indiana State Police to help look into an alleged excessive force case here in Tippecanoe County. The Black man involved claims Lafayette officers used excessive force during his arrest because of his race. Tippecanoe County Judge Sean Persin appointed Mary Hutchinson as the special prosecuting attorney. She requested ISP's help in the investigation on Jun. 22.
This police-involved incident that happened just after midnight on Saturday, May 9 now has one Lafayette man fighting for racial justice after having to fight for his life.
Lafayette police Lt. Matt Gard said officers responded to a 911 call at 12:24 am about a reported fight happening at a home on Brampton Dr. When they arrived they found 46-year old Richard Lee Bailey Jr., who they came to arrest for suspected battery and intimidation. According to police he fought with and threatened to stab the three people living in the home on Brampton Dr.
Gard reports, officers attempted to detain Bailey but he resisted. In the video, you can hear officers warn Bailey they will deploy the K-9 if he continues resisting. Police report Bailey was intoxicated during the incident.
The incident left Bailey in a coma for six days according to his lawyers. He has now opened a criminal lawsuit against the three officers involved. We were not able to hear from Bailey but we did get in contact with his attorneys.
"When the police encounter young Black men, their reaction is completely different from when they encounter a young white man under the same circumstances," said Bailey's attorney Swaray Conteh.
Both Conteh and Fatima Johnson are Bailey's attorneys in this case. Johnson said they do believe the way the incident was handled is due to Bailey being Black.
"There's no doubt in my mind that if he were not a black man, then he would not have been taken into custody that way," said Johnson.
Johnson believes the officers had an intent to kill Bailey.
"They must have been trying to kill Richard Bailey that night, they must have been," said Johnson. "If a dog bites your neck, its obvious what's going to happen. The damage that he suffered was life-threatening and they used that dog as a weapon to put Mr. Bailey's life in jeopardy," said Johnson.
Lafayette Police Chief Patrick Flannelly sent us a statement explaining the K-9's involvement in the incident saying:
"When they attempted to detain him (Bailey) he was uncooperative and non compliant with officers lawful commands. This non-compliance created a physical altercation that did not need occur. Officers utilized a police K-9 to assist in the arrest. The use of the K-9 caused injuries to the suspects neck area. Upon securing the resisting subject, officers immediately provided medical attention and assisted in getting the subject appropriate medical care," said Flannelly.
He said the department will release more video and audio footage in the coming days.
For now, both attorneys are hoping beyond seeing the justice they want for their client, they also hope this investigation sends a message to other officers.
"We are going to hold them accountable, we are determined to make sure that they don't do that to another Black person in Lafayette," said Swaray. "I expect this to go nationwide because the brutality was just horrific."
Special prosecutor Mary Hutchinson wrote in a press release that she will not be speaking with media during the investigation. LPD also tells us they will not be giving on-camera interviews at this time about this incident.