Johnston Avenue in the Maysville community.
“Tensions are high, emotions are up, there is a family member that’s been shot, another one being arrested,” says Police Chief James Barber.
Over a dozen police on the scene tried to keep things calm as several brawls broke out.
“They dealt directly with the ones causing the problems, you don’t see them using force other than “soft hands” even though there’s certainly tasers and batons out there, the officers never had to escalate to hard hands or taser-type use,” says Barber.
Today, it’s become common-place to record and scrutinize an officer’s every move. Most recent was this officer tearing a student from a desk. We’ve seen so many cops losing their cool in tense situations, yet these Mobile officers kept the peace.
“It makes me feel good to see them acting professionally and showing restraint in a pretty volatile situation,” says Barber.
Barber estimates there were 40 to 50 people on the scene last night apart from police officers, so with that many people, it’s amazing things didn’t escalate even more than they already did.
Chief Barber says the officer’s verbal commands were obeyed. You see one officer take out his taser gun and order a woman to the ground. She complied, and the taser was not used.
“The immediate thing is to prevent injury or anybody from getting hurt and what you’ve got here is multiple fights breaking out almost simultaneously on the officers and so they’re trying to separate those individuals. But you can also see the officer’s demeanor being very calm and professional, helps to de-escalate the situation,” says Barber.
Shooting suspect Eric Williams was arrested, charged with assault and is out on bond.
In the end, officers arrested one man and four women during Thursday’s fights.