TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - How did a noise complaint escalate to three University of Alabama students being pinned to the ground and three Tuscaloosa police officers being placed on paid leave in the wake? It is what officials are trying to get to the bottom to in an incident being called a "black eye" by the chief of police. And now, FOX 5 News has learned one of those students is from Johns Creek.
According to AL.com, it happened early Sunday morning as a noise complaint call at an off-campus apartment. Police are still trying to determine the full details, but what they do know is that stun guns and batons were used on those students. That’s according high-level police officials who are combing over several videos and photos taken of the incident that had about a dozen officers from both Tuscaloosa Police and University of Alabama Police departments responding to it.
Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson suspended three of the officers, who have 22 years of experience among them, seen in the social media posts and said that more could be placed on leave. The names of the officers on leave have not yet been released.
Matthew Gimlin Macia, 22, of Johns Creek, was arrested on charges of resisting arrest. Brandon James Williford, 21, of Tennessee, was arrested on charges of harassment and resisting arrest. Caroline Elizabeth Giddis, 22, of Tennessee, was arrested on charges of obstructing governmental operations and harassment. All three students were also charged with obstructing governmental operations.
At a press conference on Monday, Chief Anderson said he was disturbed by the video and immediately ordered an investigation. The department’s Internal Affairs investigators will be reviewing all of the video posted to social media, as well as body camera video from the officers on the scene.
University officials released a statement on Monday: "We are aware of the incident and we remain very concerned about the welfare of all students who were there, especially those who were arrested. We have reached out to provide support to them, and will continue to provide services they need. We can confirm that three UAPD officers responded to a TPD officer's call for emergency assistance that morning, and we are reviewing their actions to verify they acted appropriately."