Video of a Stillwater, Oklahoma Police Department arrest and tasing of an Oklahoma State University student is now posted on the city’s website and can be seen below.
Caymon Severs and Clair Hosterman each were arrested and charged with assault and battery of an officer, resisting arrest, and public intoxication. The assault and battery charge is a felony. Both posted bonds of $5,000. The alleged perpetrator of the assault on Hosterman was never questioned. An officer injured his leg during the takedown of Severs.
A call was originally made around 2:00 a.m on Thursday, September 22, 2022 asking officers to respond to a disturbance at The Union Bar at 412 South Washington Street or “The Strip”. The Strip is a combination of shops, restaurants, and bars popular amongst Cowboy students.
According to witnesses, Hosterman had been physically assaulted by a man at The Union Bar at closing time. According to the police report and original call, someone was, “wanting to fight everybody,” refused to leave, and that was what they were on scene investigating.
Officer McKinney was the first to arrive at the scene and can be seen picking out one of the group members for questioning. At the video’s 9:07 mark, an officer had already made the conclusion that one of the women in the group was “extremely drunk and about to be going to jail” according to the video. However, there seems to be confusion by the crowd as to why the police were on the scene in the first place, other than to ask the group about their colleague being assaulted at The Union Bar.
The initial student approached and questioned by officers can be seen compliantly moving out of the camera view when the officer asked that she, “step away and speak with him.” The students then begin to protest to Officer Simpson that the now investigation of a public intoxication charge is out of line since the group was going home and their friend had just been assaulted, the girl being questioned for public intoxication was beside the point.
The officers were attempting to get the rest of the story from one group of students that were separated to receive statements.
At around the 1:00 minute mark, the sources on the scene reference that Ms. Hosterman was assaulted by a person ushering persons out of the bar at closing time. The victim’s witnesses allege she had been pushed out of the establishment and onto the Washington Street concrete; statements that were recorded in the video.
At around the 1:59 minute mark, Hosterman and Severs can be seen meandering to the left and off-screen and then get involved in a verbal exchange with Officer Longerbill. It looks as if Severs is pointing to the situation occurring with the “drunk” woman in the street. The officer can be heard telling Hosterman to “go away now” and then an officer looks to grab Sever’s arm to place him into custody. Hosterman and Severs appear to be pointing and invading the space of the officer who was telling them to go back to the wall. With his right arm, the officer seems to grab Hosterman’s neck and breast area while she is now caught between Sever and the officer attempting to detain her. A second officer grabs Hosterman and attempts to secure his hands and take him to the ground for detention.
Simpson then attempts to secure Hosterman from behind, grabbing her right wrist, while the original officer is grabbing and twisting Hosterman’s right arm in an attempt to secure and take her to the ground for detention.
At the 3:00 minute mark, a taser is deployed on a compliant Severs. He can be seen throughout the scrum on his back with his hands raised, awaiting the orders from the fight-heightened police.
According to some witnesses of the event, the police officers failed in many ways and the video doesn’t match the very broad descriptions in the police report.
Some residents are beginning to call for the resignation of the rural town’s top leadership amongst continued complaints of police misconduct. One Oklahoman, Amy Goerdecke, recently posted on the City’s Youtube page, “Stillwater police and the City of Stillwater should be investigated for this incident. Absolutely police harassment at its best. I can honestly say that if these were my children, I would not let this rest. I know this boy and he is a good kid to say the least. I plan on sharing this on the parent website so other parents can witness what our children are being subjected to In Stillwater. We send our kids there thinking they will be protected, but it is quite the contrary. The people who are supposed to protect our kids are the very people who are harassing our kids. It is very apparent why these cops are not respected. This is a college town and as evidenced in these police videos, the police were not looking out for the welfare of the kids/girl. They were harassing kids who were intoxicated but not doing anything wrong. They were coming out of a bar on the strip at closing. They were waiting for their Uber to arrive.”
An Oklahoma City attorney, Mark Bailey, is representing Severs at a hearing set for the preliminary docket on November 7, 2022.
Stillwater City Council members have reached out to the Oklahoma Post, questioning if it is time for the City Manager and Police Chief to move on to greener pastures amidst the growing sentiment of distrust of the police amongst Payne County residents.
Claire Hosterman has not had an attorney make an entry of appearance. The court has continued the hearing until November 8, 2022 for her to appear with counsel.
(Writing by Robbie Robertson; Editing by Robbie Robertson)
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