KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - 21-year-old Elise Villareal arrived at The Plaza Saturday about 30 minutes before she recorded this video. You see a man yelling at a line of police from the crowd of protestors.
“He wasn’t saying anything that was threatening or super disrespectful. He was not showing up to any police officers. He was staying on the sidewalk,” Villareal said.
The police then rush forward. They grab the man and pull him from the crowd while simultaneously spraying the man and others with pepper spray at close proximity.
The man is then pulled to the ground and the crowd responds with anger. We have to turn the audio off at this point for profanity.
You can see the crowd throwing objects at police.
Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith says he hasn’t seen the video, so he can’t respond to it.
“This may be hard to believe, but we’re a little busy today, so we’ll do the press conference and then submit it to me and we’ll try and answer what we can,” Smith said.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has seen it but says he can’t make a conclusion without knowing all the facts.
“It doesn’t mean we’re the type of people that will look at what’s been done, what’s right and to the extent we need to address anything we do,” Mayor Lucas said.
Villareal admits there were times when protestors were provoking police and officers remained calm.
“But in that video, it’s clear to see that the police act and then the crowd responds. It’s not the other way around,” Villareal said.
She just wants the department to take responsibility for what she sees as them contributing to an unpeaceful protest.
KCTV5 NEWS first reached out to KCPD about the viral video at noon. KCPD did confirm it was their officers in that video but couldn’t tell us who the man is or what his charge was.
They say of the 151 arrests this weekend, most of them were municipal charges relating to the protest.