Wister woman contests arrest, says chief used excessive force

A Wister woman is contesting her July arrest and how she was treated in the town hall by the police chief.
BY VALLERY BROWN Modified: December 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm •  Published: September 16, 2010

Complaints of disorderly conduct and disrespecting a police officer were not added because "Martin was complaining of possible injury," Ford states. He then asked his secretary to prepare the paperwork so Martin could be released on her own recognizance to seek medical treatment.

Martin was arrested and taken to the Le Flore County jail on municipal complaints of using profanity in public and resisting arrest, according to Ford's statement.

The video shows two women in the room during the struggle. One uses a phone knocked from Martin's hands to take video and pictures of the ordeal.

Martin said she was screaming for Ford to stop and for the woman to record the incident.

"He lost his cool when he heard me yelling for her to record it," Martin said.

Calls to the city manager and to Ford were not returned Wednesday.

Jeff Mixon, Martin's attorney, said they will contest the charges at her court date Oct. 7.

"I don't think he had the legal authority to lay a hand on her," Mixon said. "Any force at all was beyond his authority."

Ford's statement

There is no arrest or incident report on file at the department, said Randy Liles, who identified himself as the acting police chief of Wister.

Liles said Ford took a leave of absence from the department at the beginning of this month so he could attend college classes.

"After that he'll be reinstated," Liles said. He said the timing of Ford's leave of absence and the incident are not related.

Ford was appointed police chief by the city council in December 2009.

He previously worked for the Le Flore County Sheriff's Department and was deployed to the Middle East while serving in the Oklahoma National Guard.

Liles said the Wister Police Department currently has three full-time and five reserve officers.

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