Mansfield Police Cruiser

MANSFIELD -- Mansfield police are "looking into" a video circulating on social media websites involving a disturbance and two arrests at 501 W. Fourth St. on Monday.

In an emailed statement, Chief Keith Porch said he "understands the concerns that have been raised by the incident," which included the dragging of a handcuffed Black teenager.

Porch said police are reviewing "any and all video" associated with the arrests.

"As with any investigation, this takes time to accurately review all audiovisual from the incident," Porch said in the statement.

A bystander recorded video of the incident, which showed the arrest of a Black Mansfield man and a teenager, reportedly the man's son, who was reacting to the adult's arrest.

The incident came two weeks after the Black/Brown Coalition and the City of Mansfield signed a new "Code of Conduct" that is aimed at guiding the relationship between the police department and city residents.

By section, the code then spells out conduct standards for community members, officer conduct, officer training, record keeping, building community and police relationships and disputes and grievances. During the signing ceremony, Porch pledged the Code of Conduct will not "just be words on paper" for his officers.

"The police department needs to be in partnership with the community for it to function well. Will that be perfect at times? Not always," Porch said. "I can tell you that the men and women of the Mansfield Police Department are honored to serve the community and its members and want to do so with professionalism and be efficient with their duties.

"So will officers make mistakes? Will officers commit crimes? Yes, they will because there's humans that are in these uniforms," Porch said. "And I can assure you when those times when those things fail for us, we are prepared to act, but that is the very rare case in those scenarios. We are proud and privileged to have the relationship in our community that we have in Mansfield."

Mansfield City Council member Alomar Davenport posted on his Facebook page about the incident.

"My personal reaction was of disgust as I watched a defenseless, restrained black teenager dragged along the ground by his shirt collar," the 4th Ward councilman said.

"Two things must now happen. Disciplinary action and a solution. I have spoken on several occasions about the need for mental health professionals to accompany our officers on possible mental health calls. This incident is a clear example of why. I will be reaching out to several mental health professional in a hope to create a executable plan that addresses this issue in hopes that future police contact goes differently. In order to see disciplinary actions for this type of behavior and policy changes that protects us all we must be on the same page," Davenport wrote.

"The Code of Conduct was not a mind altering document. It does not, and cannot dictate the action of a officer or the community. It is a guideline. At times a rule will be broken, and when it is there must be clear consequences for the action," Davenport wrote.

"I have seen several post denouncing the Code of Conduct that was created to set forth expected behavior. At times expectations are not met and that is what we have here. Rather than extending the energy to belittle the work of some and dividing us into two groups, I am asking us to work together.

"It will take all of us to create the type of public pressure to bring about an appropriate disciplinary action. It will take all of us to create the type of public pressure to bring about an appropriate policy change. As two groups nothing can really be accomplished. I am asking those who have doubts about the validity of the work of others to join forces for a common goal.

"We all want the some thing and it will take all of us working together to make it happen. I understand there will always be multiple views on how something can be accomplished and that is ok, but I am appealing to everyone's sense of unity to create a collective voice that is moving as one to accomplish what we all want," Davenport wrote.

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City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"