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Witnesses: police, not Tide player, aggressors in weekend incident

Alabama head coach Saban questions a call from the referee in the second half of play against Virginia Tech at the Chick-fil-A  Kick-Off college NCAA football game in Atlanta AP

Relatively speaking, the weekend arrest of Alabama true freshman Tony Brown was one of those run-of-the-mill incidents involving college students and campus law enforcement that follows the standard formula: party + 18-22 year olds + alcohol + police = brouhaha and/or imbroglio.  This incident in Tuscaloosa, however, is in the early stages of taking on a life of its own.

Multiple eyewitnesses, al.com‘s Michael Casagrande is reporting, have painted the responding Tuscaloosa Police Department officers as the aggressors during a Sunday morning incident that ended with Brown’s arrest.  Those same witnesses claimed that the news release sent out by the TPD was rife with what the website described as “inaccuracies or fabrications.”

In that release, the TPD stated that “police responded to reports of a loud party involving underage drinking at an area apartment complex just after midnight Sunday morning.”  As one partygoer who was placed under arrest was being put into a police cruiser, the crowd in general and “Brown specifically continued to be a problem.”  The 18-year-old Brown was ultimately hit with pepper spray, arrested and charged with failure to obey and resisting arrest.

That was the TPD’s version of events.  Suffice to say, the eyewitness accounts vary greatly.  From Casagrande’s post, with an eyewitness accusing one of the police officers of pulling a gun as Brown was in the fetal position, exacerbating the situation:

Jaison Davis, 23 from Atlantasaid Brown was never threatening to the two police officers, who responded to a noise complaint at Campus Way, an off-campus student apartment complex. The party was attended by mostly Alabama track and field team members, Davis and other witnesses said. …

They say Brown and a few other guests turned to leave immediately after officers pulled out the pepper spray. Brown walked approximately 30-40 yards to his car with an officer following behind, they said. The officer walked beside Brown and pepper sprayed Brown in the face as the athlete was complying with the command to leave, said Davis who only briefly met Brown before Saturday night. …

Brown immediately fell to the ground in a fetal position, Davis said, as the officer pulled his gun. The crowd, which had been relatively calm to that point, was more tense after the pepper spray was used and when the gun came out, Davis said.

Sharper said everyone moved away fast when they saw the gun.

Davis went on to claim that there are at least five cell-phone videos of the incident.  Another eyewitness, 20-year-old Chris Thomas, told al.com that “the police officer appeared to become more aggressive when witnesses pulled out camera phones to capture video of the encounter.”

Along with other media outlets, al.com has requested a copy of the police report filed by the officers.  Thus far, the TPD has declined the requests.

Head coach Nick Saban addressed the incident for the first time publicly Tuesday.

“Look, some people are in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Saban said. “Some people don’t make good decisions about what they do, what they say. Tony Brown’s a fine young man, we’re glad to have him in the program. We’ll certainly try to use this as a learning experience for him. “

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36 Responses to “Witnesses: police, not Tide player, aggressors in weekend incident”
  1. dhardy8207 says: Jan 21, 2014 4:56 PM

    “The party was attended by mostly Alabama track and field team members, Davis and other witnesses said”. …

    So this party had nothing to do with the “football team” and more the track and field members which is why he would have attended. He’s not only a 5 -star cornerback but a hurdler as well.

  2. 8to80texansblog says: Jan 21, 2014 5:11 PM

    What….! Police officers never overstep their bounds! Blasphemy I say!!!!

  3. noleitup says: Jan 21, 2014 5:22 PM

    I was just bashing this kid the other day and now I feel bad. Being a young black male myself I can kind of understand what happened now. I didnt want to bring race into this but it is what it is. I’ve never been arrested but ive been “investigated” several times since I was in middle school and even put in cop cars while just walking home from school. Thats just the world we live in now.

  4. louhudson23 says: Jan 21, 2014 5:24 PM

    This has been the narrative almost from the moment it happened. And it is certainly out of character for Brown. We shall see…

  5. seanb20124 says: Jan 21, 2014 5:38 PM

    Brown was walking to his car? Are freshman at Alabama even allowed cars on campus?

  6. mauldawg says: Jan 21, 2014 6:03 PM

    NS at his finest!! How many more witnesses will Nicky boy find. Just another cover up!!

  7. liverpoolred04 says: Jan 21, 2014 6:44 PM

    Sweep it under the rug Nick, sweep it under the rug.

  8. Deb says: Jan 21, 2014 7:36 PM

    It would be so cool if computers had breathalyzers that measured IQ before allowing people to post on football blogs, wouldn’t it mauldawg, liverpoolred? Oh … well … maybe not so much for you two.

  9. afrancis55 says: Jan 21, 2014 7:48 PM

    Rammer jammer yellowhammer here’s your cell stupid bammer!

  10. sportsguy3434 says: Jan 21, 2014 7:53 PM

    Then where is the video on you tube?

  11. ningenito78 says: Jan 21, 2014 7:54 PM

    Sorry Deb. your right. Everything they said is TOTALLY out of the realm of possibilities. In assuming you’re an Auburn fan….

  12. thermanmerman99 says: Jan 21, 2014 8:07 PM

    noleitup and im a white male who has been pulled over and harassed by cops in atlanta while driving through a black neighborhood, being interrogated and accused of buying drugs as the only reason that i was in the area because i suppose it is illegal for whites to drive in certain areas. so i can play your lame victim game as well.

  13. dcroz says: Jan 21, 2014 8:10 PM

    So some people on here really believe that Nick Saban had some false witnesses to come forward so that one of his numerous star recruits can get out of trouble? And he has endless amounts of cash to buy every player he wants, as well, with the NCAA fully cooperating with him and bending to his will without a peep from fellow coaches or programs? Wow, I wish Saban were half as powerful as the haters seem to think; he should be curing cancer or ending poverty instead of wasting his talents on football if he really is able to make the world move whichever way he want, whenever he wants.

  14. djlexluger says: Jan 21, 2014 8:12 PM

    thermanmerman99 stfu

  15. Brian Basher says: Jan 21, 2014 8:31 PM

    seanb20124 says:
    Jan 21, 2014 5:38 PM
    Brown was walking to his car? Are freshman at Alabama even allowed cars on campus?

    What does it matter they said it was an OFF campus apt complex

  16. ohioguy614 says: Jan 21, 2014 8:37 PM

    I’m surprised some of you haven’t blamed Urban Meyer for this yet.

  17. BrownsTown says: Jan 21, 2014 8:51 PM

    Poor Saban. Busy cleaning up yet another Tom Al-Betar scandal and now he has to devote time to this. There is no offseason in T-Town!

  18. normtide says: Jan 21, 2014 8:54 PM

    Africanis- you are quick to call the kettle black. Your two trips to the BCS title game came with two qb’s kicked out of other schools for stealing. Not to mention the other problems with auburn players. I usually don’t bash the barn, I actually respect AU and have some great friends who went there, but you make it so easy. The fact that au has to keep lockers shut while Marshall is around says it all. Not to mention the article written by an auburn grad detailing cheating.

  19. afrancis55 says: Jan 21, 2014 9:10 PM

    Normcried

    What’s you’re deal, pal? You’ve been after me ever since I said Bama sugar bowl gear was on its way to the less for nature residing in various African countries. I’m sorry you’re upset by me taking little jabs at the tahd, as if your Bama brethren haven’t done the same after the legal trouble Auburn players encountered under chizik.

  20. afrancis55 says: Jan 21, 2014 9:11 PM

    That should read less fortunate, not “less for nature.” My mistake.

  21. babyfarkmcgeezax says: Jan 21, 2014 9:11 PM

    Oklahoma 45, Alabama 31
    Utah 31, Alabama 17

  22. ningenito78 says: Jan 21, 2014 9:31 PM

    Just to clarify- no way do I think Saban actually covered something up. I’m just sick of reading this ‘Deb’ and her Alabama knob slobbing. Literally zero insight on anything other than Alabama football. And I wouldn’t call what (she?) ever does post here as ‘insight’.

  23. normtide says: Jan 21, 2014 9:33 PM

    My only reply to that was, you should probably win your game before making such statements. Then I didn’t see any posts after that game. This time, again, in just saying maybe don’t open yourself up to easy rebuttal. To be clear, I’m not taking up for this kid. Don’t put yourself in these situations. If your a football star/major recruit, your always going to be at the center of any scandal around you. If you disagree with my assessment of the auburn QB’s, please correct me. Like I said before, I respect Auburn, and mostly praise them in my post. Just don’t be taking cheap shots if your are not prepared to have them thrown back at you. Other then that, I’ve agreed with many of your posts and have no personal issue with you.

    You will notice I didn’t bring up auto correct typos, because then I would be the one calling the kettle black. Best of luck going forward and I can’t wait for the next season to begin.

  24. Deb says: Jan 21, 2014 9:43 PM

    ningenito78 … your IQ, I presume.

    I’ve been posting on many football topics, both here and on PFT, for years that have nothing to do with Alabama football. Either you don’t read articles on any subject other than the SEC or you have the reading-comprehension skills of a toadstool. My guess would be the latter. If you’re sick of reading my posts, you might consider skipping them. Easy solution. Wouldn’t expect you to think of it. Thinking doesn’t seem to be your strong suit.

  25. musketmaniac says: Jan 21, 2014 9:52 PM

    nice conversation you’re having tonight. since its basketball ball season, the only thing I am going to say on main subject. College coaches have a ton of juice in College town. like a god damn five term senator if you got a ring a few conference championships. but l like the pot calling kettle the black conversation. 42 year old german,dutch,Cherokee(amongst a few other tribes and flags) 11th generation (solid educated guess) American. And I want to completely understand what everyone is saying here. that white people/police are not treating black people well. and that in certain more populated areas black people/police are not treating white people well. shocking this internet shit is truly educational. The good thing is with all you concerned citizens/brothers keepers. this will not sit long

  26. Deb says: Jan 21, 2014 10:03 PM

    sportsguy3434 says:

    Then where is the video on you tube?
    ———————————————–
    Did you search You Tube? Here’s one that was posted yesterday:

  27. afrancis55 says: Jan 21, 2014 10:35 PM

    Norm, I appreciate your clarification and I hope this clears the air between us. I wasn’t in any way trying to create animosity between. I apologize if I have offended you, as that is not ever my goal. As for Nick Marshall, yes he made an awful choice but he went to juco matured, turned his life around, and learned a valuable life lesson, therefore earning the chance to revive his career. As for Cam he truly was in the wrong place at the wrong time and being immature, cracked under pressure. But like NM, he paid his dues and earned a second chance.

    As for the comment on the Alvin Kamara article , I stand by it. Saban over signs every year but when a better guy comes along he tosses the previous player. There’s is not a single team in the country that needs to sign 4 or 5 running backs in a single recruiting class.

  28. bralinshan says: Jan 21, 2014 10:44 PM

    This Brown young man is supposedly a nice kid. That is what surprised me when I heard about the incident.
    Why do “fans” get so acidic and vile about “sweeping things under the rug” and “Nicky Satan” and all that garbage?
    Football players graduate at 80% at Alabama. The student body at large graduates at 55%.
    And what genius making these comments about this kid wouldn’t want due process for themselves? Or, would you prefer that if your an athlete your ALWAYS guilty regardless of the circumstance?
    I believe that 90%+ of police officers do one helluva of a job and are overworked and underpaid. But, there are a very small percentage of rogue officers that are not the quality that the job requires. We’ve all seen them…Black, White, Hispanic, etc.
    Just one time, let nature take its course before you hurl garbage because you don’t like a particular football team.

  29. pricecube says: Jan 21, 2014 11:35 PM

    After watching that video I am kind of astounded the cops did not beat everyone involved… not that I would condone such action…. but when interacting with LEOs it is always a good idea to show deference and respect no matter how out of line they get. A cop on the street has absolute authority. If you need recourse please try to get it in a courtroom after the fact and document as much as you can. It is generally a bad a idea to start hurling racial slurs at them. In fact it sounded like the white cop was not only called a cracker… but a “cracker ass n—er” as well… which really does not make much sense but that is beside the point. Showing disrespect to a cop will very often get your ass beat whether you are black, white or plaid. It does not matter if they “dissed” you first…

  30. pricecube says: Jan 22, 2014 4:18 AM

  31. dhardy8207 says: Jan 22, 2014 9:42 AM

    Pricecube says;

    ” If you need recourse please try to get it in a courtroom after the fact and document as much as you can”

    —————————————————————-

    In a perfect world I might agree with you, but unfortunately most judges are not going to go against an officer’s conduct unless blatantly abusive. The problem I have with that is the definition of “abusive” is vastly different between what normal citizens and “some” police officers. I’m a female, late 40s, and born and raised in BAMA. I’ve been pulled over for a tail light out and for some ungodly reason 3 cars of police detained me, ran my tag and license, came up with absolutely nothing but searched my vehicle because I looked “high”, with me telling them all along that I just pulled a 12 hour shift after being on call over the weekend. I’ve never had a criminal history and never ever remotely close to any drug use. These 4 officers detained me for over an hour on the side of the street at 12:30 am. So yes, I felt harrassed and mistreated for being detained in such a manner. I reported that to the appropriate superiors and received a response weeks later that the officers were well within their rights. But what about my rights as a citizen and no probable cause to detain me other than a blown bulb in a tail light.

    The bottom line is that Saban said in his statement; “some times we make bad choices” and by that I think he meant his 18 year old 5 star recruit should not have been at a gathering where alcohol was being served, but apparently Brown wasn’t drinking or he would have also been charged with public intoxication. So the whole bit about Saban “covering things up” is just an example of dislike for a man that is trying to not throw his player under the bus, but also give some creed to the officers validity of response. Was it overkill? Possibly, and if so this will all come out in court.

  32. Slim Charles says: Jan 22, 2014 11:04 AM

    noleitup and im a white male who has been pulled over and harassed by cops in atlanta while driving through a black neighborhood, being interrogated and accused of buying drugs as the only reason that i was in the area because i suppose it is illegal for whites to drive in certain areas. so i can play your lame victim game as well.

    ————————————–

    lmao. I think you did some drugs before writing that idiotic comment.

  33. normtide says: Jan 22, 2014 5:28 PM

    I truly believe both those guys have turned their lives around. I also promote second chances. Truth is we have all done stupid things that could ruin our reputations. It is how one responds to their mistakes that matter. Just like I want to think Brown will learn and grow from this mistake. Hard to argue with over signing, numbers are pretty clear. However, many schools, including Auburn have also done it. Even schools like Michigan. Anyone with any college football sense knew after signing day last year that Bama would have at least one back transfer. The question was only who. These backs knew when they signed that competition would be stiff, but in sure each thought they were the best. Kamara’s problem wasn’t athletic, it was attitude. That’s a risk with any recruit. I’m not saying everything is perfect, but Bama isn’t doing anything most other programs aren’t as well. It’s just magnified because Bama has been at the forefront of college football the last 6 years.

    But alas, no hard feelings, just good banter.

  34. mcgillicutty49er says: Jan 22, 2014 11:46 PM

    The witnesses are Lame Kiffen and his boy Lil’ Wayne. They were across the street in Lil’ Wayne’s ’84 Cutlass!

  35. midtec2005 says: Jan 23, 2014 11:56 AM

    With all of the police brutality stories that you see nowadays I find this story more than a little believable. Especially with the video.

    Furthermore, those cops have no right to stop that kid from taking video. He is breaking no laws. The police just don’t like it when they get filmed abusing their power.

  36. musketmaniac says: Jan 23, 2014 4:53 PM

    funny my first arrest the cop was an ex football player, all conference I think. him his partner cuffed me to a chair and beat on me for eight hours, all because they hated the lawyer I was trying to call. ahh good times the 80`s before the inet it was the wild west

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