Waterloo Police reinforcing training after officer disciplined a - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo Police reinforcing training after officer disciplined after assault

Posted: Updated:
(KWWL) -

Waterloo Police say they're going to reinforce de-escalating techniques for all officers, after new video shows an officer verbally and physically assaulting a man in handcuffs. 

The officer is Waterloo Police Officer Adam Wittmayer. The man arrested is Montavis Keller, who is accused of leading police on a high speed chase through Waterloo and Black Hawk County back in April.

The chase ended when Keller crashed his car into a Waterloo home. Two children were inside at the time of the crash.

The crash caused an electrical fire and gas leak, but thankfully no one was injured.

Keller is charged with attempting to hit a police officer with his car and is also facing drug and weapons charges for items allegedly found in the car.

Waterloo Police Chief Dan Trelka says Waterloo  is just one of many police departments across the country that are evolving.

Despite the extensive amount of training his officers receive, he says situations do arise where tension gets high. He says it's in these moments where reinforcing techniques are vital in de-escalating the situation. 

"A lot of adrenaline is going through the officers, a highly emotional incident," said Trelka. "We can overcome that with more and more training."

Trelka emphasizes reinforcing professionalism and discipline in training, focusing on de-escalating situations like this one. 

"This officer is going to be able to tell the other officers, Hey, I made a mistake," said Trelka. "Don't do what I did, because you don't want to be where I am right now."

In the dash cam video, you can see Keller run away from the crash before surrendering as a Sheriff Deputy pulls his gun.

The deputy along with two other Waterloo Officers hold Keller down and handcuff him.

Then another officer identified as Officer Adam Wittmayer runs up.

You can see Wittmayer yank on Keller's dreadlocks several times while using vulgar language to call Keller names.

Then Officer Adam Wittmayer hits Keller in the head.

"Mother *******, God.  . . . .One in custody. ******* Moron ***** You're a stupid mother ******, you know that? Stupid mother ******," said Wittmayer.

"But there are times, when, to save our life or save the life of another, you gotta kick it up and become more aware, and ready," said Trelka. "And you may have to use physical force, and this tends to be one of the hardest things to do in our profession. Once you no longer need to be at that level, and the situation is under control, as humans, and emotionally, it is incredibly difficult to come back down."

Trelka says Waterloo police have brought in experts who  have trained officers on arresting communications and fair and impartial policing.

He says he's focused on one thing in particular.

"De-escalation and doing all we can to slow an incident down," said Trelka

In September, the training for officers will be focused on diversity and inclusion. Trelka says Mayor Hart has been instrumental in providing funding for this type of training. 

A consultant, who is an expert on community policing, will also be meeting with Waterloo Police next week. 

Powered by Frankly