A Philadelphia police officer is facing legal action after reportedly deleting a suspect’s mobile phone video of his arrest, which was captured on film. As reported by TMZ, the arrest took place back in March after officer Burnett observed a pickup truck idling at a petrol station for 10 to 15 minutes. Burnett identified the driver as Jacob Giddings after running the car’s license plate numbers through his computer.
Burnett and the other responding officers attempted to hold Giddings because he was wanted on an active warrant for assault, according to the police report. Giddings was eventually taken into custody. According to police, Giddings, who was seated in the car with another man, resisted arrest and attempted to flee.
On the body-worn camera video, which was made public on Wednesday (June 9), Giddings can be seen bringing his phone up to the police officers and telling them that he is filming the incident. When Giddings refuses to leave the car, Burnett violently pulls him from it, during which the phone is dropped and a fight can be heard.
Later, Burnett can be seen taking up Giddings’ phone and accessing the videos on the phone’s hard drive. Giddings claims that the footage he recorded has been removed from his phone’s camera roll. Although there is no record of Giddings ever taking the video, the officer’s handling of the phone was captured on his body-worn camera, according to the police report. In the video, Burnett later returns the phone to Giddings, who was seated in the rear of the police car at the time of the incident. Giddings inquires of Burnett, “Is my video still on there?” to which Burnett responds, “I’m not sure.”
According to police, during their search, they discovered that Giddings was in possession of marijuana. He was taken into custody and charged with resisting arrest as well as possession of a controlled substance. He reportedly sustained injuries to his wrists as a result of the battle and was later sent to a hospital for treatment.
Following his hiring of an attorney, Giddings has filed a lawsuit against the Philadelphia Police Department, accusing them of using excessive force and assault, tampering with evidence, false arrest, and malicious prosecution. Through Giddings’ iCloud account, Donte Mills of the law firm Mills & Edwards LLP was able to recover the deleted footage of his arrest, which had been deleted by Giddings.
According to a statement released by the Philadelphia Police Department, the allegations against Burnett are being investigated. So yet, according to TMZ, no disciplinary action has been taken against the actor.
“Our Internal Affairs Bureau is currently conducting an investigation into this incident,” the department stated. “While we await the results of the internal inquiry, the officer involved has been placed on administrative duty.”