On June 4, five Marion County Police officers arrested Tessa Lovelace, a homeless individual, after reportedly punching the helpless victim at least 17 times in the head. Nothing appeared to have come of the incident until KGW, an Oregon-based news station, obtained video evidence of the unsettling encounter. The news station publicly played the footage, and an investigation into the situation was immediately launched.
In the video, the victim can be seen being thrown on the ground by at least four officers. Several of them are punching the victim in the head who can be heard yelling for help. A fifth officer joins in on the arrest and also delivered a few blows. The district attorney’s office released an initial review and found that the officer’s use of force didn’t violate the law. Their actions, the district attorney argued, were necessary to make the arrest. The suspect continued to disrupt an ongoing police investigation and was eventually taken to a Psychiatric Crisis Center after her arrest. The district attorney made the decision not to prosecute the suspect or police officers in this case but rather offer the victim mental health services to help prevent a similar situation in the future.
Lovelace told news outlets that her attack caused hearing loss, bruising, cuts, a bloody nose and concussion. Deputies, on the other hand, argue Lovelace continued to reach for a knife in her waistband, so they were all struggling to control and contain the situation. Prosecutors will not be filing charges for any of the individuals involved, but the Oregon State Police has confirmed that their deputies need more training to deal with these types of situations.