A viral video depicting a Lubbock Police officer was viewed more than 4.5 million times and was shared more than 124,000 times as of Monday morning. That’s just for Facebook and does not include other social media platforms.
The video shows a police officer getting squirted by people with squirt guns. It then shows her chasing after a man, and then falling on a wet sidewalk.
A police report provided more information. It said officers responded to the 2600 block of East Baylor Street just after 5:00 p.m. Saturday.
“[Officers] were advised there had been several calls to this block reference a neighborhood water fight,” a police report said. “The call sheet advised subjects were throwing water balloons and blocking vehicles in the roadway.”
“[An officer] began to walk east on Baylor advising people to have fun but stay out of the roadway,” the police report said.
The police report said people began squirting water at the officer with squirt guns. It said the officer chased after one of the people. She tripped on the sidewalk.
The police report said once the officer got up, someone threw a full bucket of water at her “with the bucket”
Participants of the water war said they didn’t mean to be disrespectful and believe that police overacted.
“I don’t think nobody meant it as disrespect. The even wasn’t for any disrespect,” said Asa Belton. “We were just having a good time. It was a hot day. I figured even the officers wanted to get a little wet.”
Others said the water fight got out of control.
“Because you know it is a bucket, it could have hit her and I’m just being honest, if a bucket would have hit me, I would be upset,” said Jamanda Ruenels.
The first officer was not able to call for backup, according to the police report, because her radio was soaked. A second officer was able to call for backup. He was also soaked by the end of the incident.
At one point, the first officer was told her partner was “being attacked.” Someone threw a plastic trash can at him, but it did not cause him pain.
Neither officer was injured but the police report indicated “unknown damage to electronics, firearms and other work-related items.”
Once backup arrived, the crowd dispersed. The police report did not say that anyone was arrested at the scene.
In a police statement, Chief of Police, Greg Stevens said:
“Most of those involved were respectful of the officers and cooperated fully. Unfortunately, a small number of individuals failed to cooperate with the lawful and non-confrontational requests of the responding officers. Their actions of course do not represent how any larger community engages with LPD officers during such encounters.”
Detectives are conducting follow up investigation regarding the assault of the officers, as well as criminal mischief and other issues to determine if the filing of charges will be appropriate.