LENEXA, KS (WTXF) -- An incident that began as a routine traffic stop and then turned into a struggle was captured on video and its going viral.
The video featuring Lenexa Police officers has been viewed almost 15,000 times on social media platforms. It shows a man being wrestled to the ground as officers attempting to arrest him.
According to WDAF-TV, Lenexa officers discovered that that driver had several warrants for his arrest when they pulled him over for a routine seatbelt violation.
A random bystander filmed the subsequent scuffle and the Facebook video clip is garnering some fiery reactions.
30-year-old John Harrison was stopped by Lenexa Police officers on Thursday. Police dash camera and body camera images shows Harrison trying to punch one of them, something WDAF says officers were not expecting.
They report that the officers were also not aware that 30-year-old John Sherman was filming the incident with his iPad.
Sherman works nearby in a shopping center. He says he was having lunch when he witnessed what looked like two white police officers being rough with a black suspect.
“The force they were using seemed excessive,” Sherman told WDAF. “I was standing there trying to help the guy, saying, ‘Stop moving’ because he was screaming that he couldn’t breathe.”
Sherman says he doesn’t know Harrison personally; however, he has many African-American friends.
He also claims that he became upset when officers instructed him to get out of their way, according to WDAF.
“We want to see police treat people with respect, especially the civilians who are around to document that,” Sherman said to WDAF. “It’s an important part of society to be able to document that.”
Sherman’s Facebook clip had been shared nearly 400 times as of Friday afternoon.
But police video paints a different picture.
“Our officers did exactly what we would want them to do,” said Lenexa Police Maj. Dawn Layman to WDAF.
According to Maj. Layman, the clip Sherman posted doesn’t have all the facts. Police say that Harrison was being taken into custody for 20 outstanding warrants. Also police allegedly smelled marijuana in his car. Layman also says the Facebook video doesn’t show Harrison physically contacting the officers.
“Some of the video that’s out there has been sensationalized across the country,” Maj. Layman told WDAF. “You’re going to continue to get that, but I think what really needs to be done is we need more education to the public exactly why officers do the things we do.”
Harrison is now in Johnson County Detention Center on $50,000 bond.
Maj. Layman says that her agency allows citizens to record police while they are working, just as long as they stay a safe distance away and do not interfere with police activity.