Police in Fairfield, Ohio, are the latest to face allegations of excessive force after officers responded to a report of a fight at a public pool. One of the women arrested in the incident is also alleging that race may have played a factor in how officers responded.
A fight reportedly broke out at the Fairfield Aquatic Center last week after staff told Krystal Dixon, 33, that her children would have to leave because they weren’t wearing proper swim attire. Signs reportedly posted at the pool state swimmers must have appropriate swimwear.
Police said Dixon “aggressively confronted pool staff” and a physical confrontation ensued. When a park ranger with the city was apparently unable to break up the fight, the official called police.
When officers arrived on scene, Dixon allegedly shoved an officer and was still refusing to leave, so she was arrested. Police said the mother also told a juvenile to “get a Taser from her purse” during the confrontation.
The police report also alleges that another female suspect, Maya Dixon, 34, proceeded to strike an officer and was joined by several of the juveniles present during the incident. Several people are clearly seen on video actively resisting arrest, but the moments leading up to the chaos are not shown.
Fairfield Police Chief Mike Dickey said his officers’ actions had nothing to do with race and everything to do with “behavior.” He argued the officers showed “restraint” by not using their weapons when they were “attacked.”
The Journal-News reportedly obtained audio of a 911 call placed by an employee of the Fairfield Aquatic Center. In it, the staffer said, “They’re videotaping, trying to make it look like a racist thing, and it’s not at all. They were breaking our policies. We told them they couldn’t be here anymore, and it’s really scary and I don’t feel safe.”
Krystal Dixon, Maya Dixon and a 15-year-old boy were arrested and charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Further, a 12-year-old was charged with assault and resisting arrest, the Journal-News reported.
Bishop Bobby Hilton held a press conference on Tuesday to allege excessive force and question if race was a motivating factor in the incident. The bishop, who said he has reviewed additional video of the incident, also alleged officers broke a juvenile’s jaw and three ribs, though police said they were unfamiliar with the claim.
Hilton also questioned whether the employee who called 911 would have reacted the same if the people involved were white.
"It really disturbs me that I'm here...I don't want to be known as someone who stands against police officers," he added.
The latest case comes on the heels of a similar situation that unfolded in McKinney, Texas, after officers responded to a report of a disturbance at a pool party. An officer seen on video drawing his firearm on minors and taking a 15-year-old girl to the ground has since resigned.
An employee at the Fairfield Aquatic Center told TheBlaze that employees are not allowed to discuss the incident with the media and all calls must go through the city. A message left for the Fairfield Police Department's public information officer was not immediately returned.