Police release video in paralyzed-suspect case

Xavier Ingram was carrying heroin and gun, police said.
Xavier Ingram was carrying heroin and gun, police said.
Posted: July 04, 2014

Xavier Ingram darts across South Seventh Street in Camden at night in the grainy surveillance video, with two Camden County police officers pursuing him on foot.

He gets halfway across - his legs flying - before he falls back-first onto the pavement.

Authorities insist this is when Ingram, 20, becomes paralyzed from the neck down.

His family, however, suspects that the actions of officers after the fall contributed to his paralysis.

What happened is difficult to decipher in the video, which the Camden County Prosecutor's Office provided Wednesday to The Inquirer.

Ingram has remained at Cooper University Hospital since the chase and is in stable condition. It happened around 10 p.m. June 12 near Chestnut Street, close to the apartment where Ingram grew up with his grandmother.

Police said Ingram had a loaded 10mm semiautomatic handgun and four bags of heroin. He was charged with a number of offenses, including unlawful possession of a weapon and resisting arrest.

Officers, police said in a statement a day after the incident, stabilized Ingram after the fall. The Prosecutor's Office, which is investigating the incident, said Ingram told officers he could not feel his legs after slipping.

Both police and the Prosecutor's Office said the day after the incident that the officers did not appear to use excessive force. On Wednesday, authorities said the video backed up their statements.

"The video clearly demonstrates that officers did not tackle Mr. Ingram or use excessive force," according to a statement released by Mike Daniels, a spokesman for the Camden County Police Department.

"Rather, what occurred and is obvious from the footage is that this was an unfortunate accident that would have been prevented had Mr. Ingram not resisted arrest by running from officers."

The video of the chase was captured by one of the Police Department's "Eye in the Sky" cameras that monitor the city. After Ingram falls, it shows two officers surrounding him, and a third officer running up the sidewalk toward them.

Police said the officers were handcuffing Ingram at this point. The distance between the officers and camera makes things other than their bodies and slight movements difficult to see.

Ingram's aunt and grandmother said a day after the chase that they spoke to witnesses who said police hit Ingram after he fell. Ingram's friend Marcus James, 24, who said he saw the incident, reported seeing officers shove Ingram's neck to the ground, but not kick him.

"It's very hard to tell" what's happening, said Ingram's attorney, Beth Baldinger, who spoke on behalf of the family Wednesday. "The thing that jumps out at me is that they are down by his head, by his neck, his upper back."

Authorities said an ambulance arrived within four minutes. An EMS report provided by Baldinger describes that moment, which is not included in the video.

Police, the EMS report says, were holding Ingram in a sitting position on the ground . An officer then told the paramedics that Ingram was, quote, "grabbed and tackled to the ground," according to the report.

The second half of the surveillance video, shortly after Ingram's fall, shows a police cruiser pull up near Ingram and the officers. About 45 seconds after the slip, the camera, which police staff can adjust, zooms in on Ingram and the officers.

Ingram appears to not be moving. Before the video ends, the officers roll him over.

"That is extremely disturbing to me," Baldinger said. "It's clear he's got a major injury to me, and you're picking up his arms and you roll him on his side?"

Baldinger said she and the family want to view more footage, such as police dash-cam video, that can provide a closer look. Ingram, she said, suffered extensive ligament and spinal cord damage. It's unclear when he will be able to leave the hospital.


>Inquirer.com

To view the Camden County police video, go to www.inquirer.com/

ingram


mboren@phillynews.com

856-779-3829 @borenmc

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