An investigation is underway regarding Spokane County Sgt. Clay Hilton, who is facing scrutiny for potential excessive use of force during the arrest of Kevin Roy Hinton on August 14 in Spokane Valley, Washington. Though the police report from Hilton says that Hinton reached for a weapon, body cam footage shows something completely different.
According to Sgt. Hilton's police report, the encounter with Hinton turned confrontational right from the start. Hilton said in the report that he noticed a folding knife in Hinton's driver's door pocket and a fixed-bladed knife stashed between the driver's seat and door.
The report mentioned Hinton's "combative behavior and access to edged weapons, Sgt. Hilton called for backup from another deputy. As Hinton continued to defy lawful orders, Hilton decided to place him under arrest, but Hinton resisted, stating, "No, I am not."
Sgt. Hilton attempted to extract him from his vehicle, inadvertently tearing Hinton's shirt as the report says that he feared Hinton might reach for a weapon. Hilton reported that Hinton persistently resisted arrest, resulting in a closed fist strike to Hinton's left cheek.
However, attorney Timothy Note, representing Hinton, has raised concerns. He points out inconsistencies between the body camera footage and the police report and encourages a careful review of both to gain a more accurate understanding of the events that transpired. In the original body camera footage that went viral on various social media accounts, Hinton didn't reach for any object before being pulled out of the vehicle.
Hinton was resting in a park when officers approached him, leading to the confrontation over a $50 infraction of being at a park after dark. The 62-year-old man suffered eight broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a split lip and a concussion, among other injuries.
We will be following this story as more details come out.
Link: Law & Crime