An incident at the Fairfield Aquatic Center in Ohio has led to police excessive force claims.
A video of the Fairfield pool altercation has gone viral – with individuals on each side of the situation claiming the recording proves their statements about what occurred, are accurate.
On June 9, the Fairfield police were called to the Fairfield Aquatic Center because a group of juveniles were reportedly told to leave the public pool and did not comply. One of the minors was not wearing a swimsuit, which is against the rules at the Ohio pool.
The Fairfield pool incident reportedly quickly escalated into a situation where the Ohio police say they were needed to physically restrain the teenagers. According to police reports, Krystal Dixon dropped off her children and nieces at the pool. Once staff realized one of the youths did not have a bathing suit, the family was not reportedly allowed inside.
Pepper spray was used during the Fairfield Aquatic Center incident, a pre-teen girl is heard on the video claiming she was sprayed in the mouth. In all, four people were arrested – two adults, plus a 12-year-old and 15-year-old. Krystal Dixon and Maya Dixon, also an adult, were arrested at the scene, were scheduled to appear in court on charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct earlier this week.
Word Deliverance Ministries Bishop Bobby Hilton hosted a press conference about the Fairfield pool incident and played “snippets” of the video recorded at the scene. The video was taken by a member of the Dixon family. Hilton said he was both “shocked” and “embarrassed” at what he deemed a “ridiculous” and excessive use of force by the Fairfield police officers.
“It really disturbs me that I’m here,” Hilton said. “I don’t want to be known as someone who stands against police officers. I have not seen any behavior that should have escalated the situation.”
Krystal Dixon and Maya Dixon stood beside Bishop Hilton at the press conference but did not address the crowd or answer questions posed by the media. Hilton said the Dixon family approached him after they were allegedly told they could not file a report about the incident at the Fairfield Police Department and said they were instructed to speak to the police chief directly about their concerns.
Bishop Hilton said he listened to the 911 audio recorded when the Fairfield pool staffer called the police and told the dispatcher that she was scared.
During the press conference Hilton said, “Would she have come to the same conclusion if everyone was white?”
Fairfield Mayor Steve Miller reviewed the video and came out in support of the police officers. “This is an unfortunate situation and our officers had a tough situation there. But I think they did a good job in showing restraint,” Mayor Miller said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Fairfield Police Chief Michael J. Dickey said the video clips only reinforced his opinion officers acted appropriately.
“All they are trying to do is calm everyone down. It’s just business,” Chief Dickey said.
Fairfield City Councilman Mike Snyder voiced concerns about the pool altercation between the Dixon family and the police “being tried in the media.”
“In all those kinds of video, you don’t know what came before. I did not see any excessive force. It appears the police were attempting to restrain the teens in a professional way. It’s a sad situation whenever you have a confrontation between an officer and a group of people, it’s always a volatile situation.”
What do you think of the Fairfield pool incident and which side does the viral video footage seem to favor?
[Image via: Video Screengrabs/Twitter]