KPRC reports alleged RUPD beating
Local news station KPRC aired a story on Tuesday, Nov. 26 entitled "Local 2 investigates controversial arrest involving Rice University police" which featured a man who claimed "police went too far" during his arrest. The report showed a police car dashboard video of two RUPD officers striking a man on the legs with batons while a third officer stood nearby.
The man, whose name is Ivan Joe Waller, claims Rice University Police Department officers unnecessarily beat him during the arrest. In the video, Waller can be heard calling out "Why y'all beating me?"
Rice released an official statement in response to the KPRC report discussing details of the arrest. Rice has since declined to comment further.
According to the original statement, the arrest occurred Aug. 10 at approximately 11 p.m. after the suspect was caught with a stolen bike outfitted with a GPS tracking device near the intersection of Montclair Drive and Holcombe Boulevard. Officers then tried to arrest the suspect, but after he repeatedly resisted handcuffs, they struck him in the legs with batons.
Waller has a criminal history of assault and burglary, according to the KPRC report. Following his arrest, he was taken to the Harris County Jail, and he pled guilty to stealing the bike, according the Rice official statement. KPRC reported Waller has since filed a complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the Harris County District Attorney's Office.
According to Rice's statement, RUPD Chief Johnny Whitehead conducted an internal review of the incident. The review determined that an appropriate amount of force had been used.
According to KPRC, the report shows only a portion of the original video because KPRC could not obtain the entire video. KPRC did not disclose how it had gained access to the video. RUPD could not be reached for comment.
KPRC aired a follow-up story Wednesday, Nov. 27 about Rice's refusal to release the entire video, but the report did not contain any additional information specific to the incident.
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