The relationship between police and communities is tense in areas all around the country, and a video uploaded to Facebook on Wednesday shows why. A man in Topeka, Kansas was washing his dog when officers armed with AR-15’s kicked in his door on Wednesday morning after allegedly receiving a call describing his apartment.
David Reynolds posted the video to his Facebook Wednesday morning. Since uploading the video it has received over 160,000 views. Reynolds explains in his post that he had come back to his apartment to wash his dog in between class when he heard a loud banging at his front door.
Police say Reynolds opened his door in his “underwear and latex gloves.” Reynolds claims he opened his door to officers aiming AR-15’s at him. Officers demanded Reynolds to come outside to which he responded, “fuck no!” Reynolds slammed his door shut since he had not broken the law and believed he was in the safety of his residence.
Officers decided to kick in Reynold’s door and force him to get down on the ground. Once on the ground, Reynolds was handcuffed and pulled into his living room where he was briefly detained. The caption with Reynolds’ video reads as follows.
So i come home in between class, to wash my dog, and all of a sudden i hear loud banging on my door, i ask who it is, and get no answer, so i open my door, and there are two Topeka Police Department officers with AR-15 DRAWN and AIMED at me, tell me to come outside, to which i answered “fuck no” because 1. i have done NOTHING WRONG, and 2. im in my underwear because washing my dog gets messy. so i slam my door. they then BREAK IT DOWN. tell me to get on the ground, put me in hand cuffs and drag me to my living room. then tell me that they got a call about a “hispanic male with an AK-47” (which by the way is NOT illegal to own if you’re not a felon so even if i did have one, which i dont, its not ilegal to own one, and they didnt know i was a felon until i told them.)let me state one more time that i did NOTHING WRONG. and i was IN MY OWN HOME! WASHING MY DOG! and they BROKE MY DOOR DOWN AND ALMOST KILLED ME WITH NO EVIDENCE THAT IVE DONE ANYTHING WRONG! THEY DIDNT EVEN HAVE EVIDENCE THAT THE PERSON THEY WERE ACTUALLY CALLED ABOUT HAD DONE ANYTHING OTHER THAN CARRY AN AK-47 INSIDE HIS OWN! THANK GAIA IM NOT FUCKING DEAD RIGHT NOW! THIS WASIN MY OWN HOME. I DIDNT DO ANYTHING WRONG. SHARE THIS SHIT. I NEED A FUCKING LAWYER
In the video, Reynolds is asking one of the officers on scene what gave them the right to bust his door down. Police told Reynolds they had received a call regarding a Hispanic male armed with an AK-47. The officer claims they were allowed to kick in the door under “exigent circumstances.” The definition of exigent circumstances reads as follows.
Circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to believe that entry (or other relevant prompt action) was necessary to prevent physical harm to the officers or other persons, the destruction of relevant evidence, the escape of the suspect, or some other consequence improperly frustrating legitimate law enforcement efforts.
After the video went viral, the Topeka Police Department released a response on their Facebook. In the response, TPD gives a different account than officers on the scene. According to TPD, they received a call about a male armed with a rifle. The caller allegedly claimed the man was in a violent dispute with a female and was making threats to her. The statement also claims the caller could hear banging on their walls and door and were afraid for their safety.
Police say they kicked in the Reynolds’ door to see if the female was safe. The statement claims the department was within their legal rights since it was an emergency situation and they had “reasonable belief that a person may be in immediate danger.” Reynolds was the only person in his apartment.
Statement regarding Facebook video:
Officers received a call at 11:09 a.m. Wednesday in reference to a male armed with a rifle.
The caller told us they believed the male to be in a violent dispute with a female and was making threats to her. The caller then specified the apartment this was taking place in.
The caller then said they could hear banging on their door and walls and said they were afraid for their safety.
A few minutes later officers arrived on scene.
Officers knocked on the door at the apartment that was described.
The subject answered the door, wearing his underwear and latex gloves. He refused to answer the officers’ questions.
The subject then slammed the door shut.
Fearing for the female’s safety, officers forced entry. The purpose was to check and see if the female was injured or needing assistance.
In emergency situations such as this, officers are not required to have a search warrant if they have a reasonable belief that a person may be in immediate danger.
Officers briefly detained the subject and checked to see if anyone inside was injured.
Officers located no one else inside the apartment and released the subject.
The apartment manager was summoned to fix the apartment door and officers left.
Also in the statement, TPD claims Reynolds’ apartment was “specified” and “described” to them. However, it goes into no details on if the caller gave Reynolds’ actual address.
TPD is currently facing a federal lawsuit over the shooting of 30-year-old Dominique White. White was killed by Topeka police on September 29, 2017, while trying to run after being stopped for questioning. Police claim that as White was running he waved his hand over a pocket that was later said to have a gun in it, making him a viable threat to and allowing officers to use deadly force.