Local leaders agree with TPD decision to fire officer involved in altercation

TPD Chief Lawrence Revell spoke to WCTV Tuesday about the investigation into an officer's physical confrontation with a suspect at the Leon County Jail.
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 6:54 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Elected officials in the City of Tallahassee are standing behind Tallahassee Police Chief Lawrence Revell’s decision to fire an officer-involved in an altercation with a handcuffed suspect last Monday.

TPD fired Charles Hansford on Monday.

Surveillance footage from Jan. 17 shows Hansford shoving a handcuffed suspect into the wall, and another officer, Edward Campbell, intervening.

“It’s always upsetting and disappointing to see that kind of behavior,” City Commissioner Jack Porter said. “I think TPD took the right action.”

City Commissioner Curtis Richardson said the chief made the right decision, calling the situation “unfortunate.”

“There are certain standards, and that was not one of them,” Richardson told WCTV over the phone on Tuesday.

City Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox was also in agreement with the firing.

“We cannot tolerate that type of behavior,” Williams-Cox said on the phone.

Mutaqee Akbar, the president of the Tallahassee Branch of the NAACP, was also concerned about the incident.

“No matter what happened, that was a person that was in handcuffs and police officer assaulted him, and I don’t think it can be minimized at all,” Akbar said. “I think the transparency is a step up from what we’ve seen in the past, and I think the swift resolution is a step up and what this community needs in order to bridge that gap between the community and law enforcement.”

Chief Revell commended Officer Campbell for deescalating the situation.

“I want to point out what a phenomenal job Officer Campbell did in responding like we want our officers to respond, and stepping in and keeping that situation from being much worse than it could’ve been,” Revell said.

The Tallahassee Police Department told WCTV on Tuesday evening that it is still in the process of redacting the body camera footage to protect the identity of the victim, per Marsy’s Law.

TPD said that video will be released on Wednesday.

Chief Revell spoke about the need for the quick release of the video, pointing to the change in policy after an April 2021 officer-involved shooting, in which body camera footage was released before a grand jury investigated.

“If we’re gonna do it in one case where we say, ‘Hey, we did right, look here,’ then we also have to be willing to say, ‘We did not do right here,’” Revell said. “And that’s what transparency is. Transparency is our community being able to trust us that whether we get it right or whether we get it wrong, we’re going to come forward and say, ‘Here’s what happened, and here’s what we did to handle it.’”

WCTV will provide a link to view the body camera footage as soon as it is released to the public.

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