South Whitley Town attorney releases statement following viral video

From reports

The family of a South Whitley teen who was pulled from her vehicle during a traffic stop recently posted video footage of the incident on social media and it has gone viral — prompting an internal investigation and igniting public outcry.

South Whitley town attorney Greg Hockemeyer issued a statement on Saturday, which read:

In response to a social media post of an edited video of a local law enforcement encounter, the South Whitley Police Department notes that it is limited in its ability to offer additional information.

The social media post and comments suggest a uniformed local officer acted unreasonably in his interaction with a driver pulled over for speeding on January 24, 2024. The incident resulted in a criminal charge and judicial finding of probable cause that the driver committed a crime. Persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

It is a crime to refuse to identify yourself if stopped for a traffic infraction. Further, a law enforcement officer is authorized to arrest an individual who commits a crime in the officer’s presence. The reasonableness of this officer’s conduct during the arrest is being reviewed.”

Additionally, Hockemeyer stated, “To ensure the fairness of the process to all parties, the Town’s Attorney has advised that it is inappropriate to comment on the underlying facts of this incident while they are being reviewed.”

The 18-year-old teen, identified in the video posted by her father as “Vivian,” was allegedly pulled over for speeding and a burned out tail light. The family maintains that their daughter was compliant during the traffic stop.

The family spoke out about the incident on regional media today and said they hope the incident serves as a means of sparking more training for officers in de-escalation during critical incidents.