Temple, Texas (KWKT) — The Temple Police Department has concluded its internal investigation into the complaint filed by Thomas Keifer in reference to his March 4, 2013 arrest.
Chief of Police Gary Smith has provided the following statement in reference to the investigation:
At my direction, an administrative review was conducted into the circumstances relating to the March 4, 2013 arrest and incarceration of Thomas Kiefer. Mr. Kiefer was charged by the arresting officers with Evading Arrest with a Vehicle, Driving While License Invalid, and Resisting Arrest. He was later convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison for the Evading Arrest charge. The findings of our internal review were that Temple Police Department officers acted reasonably and in accordance with TPD standard operating procedures and in accordance with applicable State and Federal law. Specifically, the internal review found that the force applied during the arrest of Mr. Kiefer was limited, reasonable and warranted by the situation.
The video and the police reports that were written, when taken in their entirety, show the complete circumstances surrounding the arrest of Mr. Kiefer. Mr. Kiefer was driving recklessly in traffic at 7:35 a.m. on a Monday morning when an officer attempted to stop him after several vehicles had to take evasive action to avoid crashing. In fleeing the officer, Mr. Kiefer drove through a grassy median along I-35, ran three stop signs, drove through parking lots and across the grass on private property, cut across a median on Loop 363 to rapidly change directions, and finally drove approximately 60 mph in a school zone. When Mr. Kiefer stopped, the officers attempted to remove him from his car as quickly as possible so that he could not resume his flight and away from any possible weapons he might have. Of course, had the vehicle moved again it would have been very dangerous for the public and our officers. Since Mr. Kiefer was struggling to remain in the car, the officers used methods of control, including the use of a Taser that stopped the suspect’s resistance, brought him under control, and ultimately prevented serious injury to Mr. Kiefer, the officers, and the public. The officers involved in the arrest likely prevented serious injury to Mr. Kiefer or themselves by using the degree of force that they used.
Mr. Kiefer did not receive any injury that required medical treatment beyond removing the Taser probes from his skin. This was confirmed by a general examination by paramedics at the scene of the arrest. He was not taken to the hospital and medics at the scene cleared him for transport to the county jail. As is clearly seen on the video, he was coherent, able to walk, and had no visible injuries on his face, head or torso. In fact, he was able to tell the arresting officers that he had already been to prison for fleeing in a vehicle, so once he began to flee he decided to just keep going.
In arresting Mr. Keifer, the officers were using a swarm technique. This technique is intended to bring the arms and legs of a suspect under control to prevent injuries to all involved. Suspects that cannot be brought under control in this manner may force officers to progressively increase the use of force to accomplish an arrest. In this case, the officers used limited and measured responses to bring the situation to a close without serious injury to any person.
In summary, the complaint filed by Thomas Kiefer is unfounded. Mr. Kiefer’s arrest was warranted by the situation, and the arresting officers used reasonable force to prevent further danger to the public, Mr. Kiefer or themselves.