FWPD says officer’s actions in viral arrest video ‘align with their policies’

A viral video being shared on Facebook shows a man being thrown to the ground by an FWPD officer following a crash
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 1:42 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - The 21Investigates team filed a public records request on Tuesday after a video being shared on social media shows a Fort Wayne Police Department (FWPD) officer slamming a man to the ground.

The video above, which has over 100,000 views on Facebook, shows an officer standing with a man outside of a car at E Washington and S Anthony boulevards. The video shows that the man appears to move his arm when the officer picks him up and throws him to the ground.

The woman who posted the video tells 21Alive that her daughter filmed the incident. FWPD activity logs show officers were responding to a crash in the area.

21Investigates has also confirmed that the man arrested in the video is 23-year-old Omar Ortiz.

23-year-old Omar Ortiz
23-year-old Omar Ortiz(Allen County Sheriff's Department)

Court documents in the case say Ortiz’s Blood Alcohol Content registered at .292 following the crash, over three times the legal limit.

The arresting officer said in his report “being the only officer on the scene in the middle of a busy intersection, fearing that the defendant was attempting to free himself from my grasp to flee or assault me, I performed a hip toss in attempt to gain control”. The officer also claimed that the ground was wet from motor oil and snow, so Ortiz fell to the ground.

Then Tuesday afternoon, FWPD sent a statement on the matter. They say Ortiz was refusing to keep his hands behind his back, so he was “taken to the ground” by the officer to place him into custody. They say despite what is shown in the video, the officer’s actions align with their policies as he failed to comply.

You can read their statement in full below:

21Investigates has also filed a public records request with the City of Fort Wayne to get a copy of the bodycam video in the incident.

Ortiz is currently charged with operating while intoxicated, OWI endangerment, leaving the scene of a crash, and resisting law enforcement.

This is a developing report. Stay tuned for updates.

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