Child's birthday party leads to multiple arrests

Child's birthday party leads to multiple arrests
(Source: WBRC video)
(Source: WBRC video)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A child's birthday party in the Kingston Community ends in multiple arrests. Residents say it's a case of police continually overstepping their bounds. Officers say the residents were refusing to comply with their lawful orders.

"From a preliminary review of the officer's body camera footage, there were several instances where the citizens disregarded the officer's instructions which eventually led to the officers attempting to make an arrest," said Lt. Sean Edwards, in a statement.

Media members were shown parts of the body cam footage from the incident which happened over Saturday.  In it you see one officer clearly telling one woman she's being arrested for disorderly conduct.

One resident also shoves one of the police.

Residents claim they were playing music at a kid's birthday party and police overstepped their authority.  Officers reportedly approached them and asked them to turn it down.  Those arrested say they were attempting to comply when things got out of hand.

They also claim that children were maced and thrown to the ground.

Residents say this was an example of officers targeting them.

"They use the music as the problem, saying the music was the problem.  But we feel like they target my sister because they seen her standing out here. Everyday they target my sister.  She can't go nowhere, she can't do nothing without them harassing her," said Brittany Bozeman, who was one of those arrested according to Black Lives Matter.

Birmingham Police offered this account of what happened:

"Although it is against Housing Authority policy to host unapproved house parties, the officers simply advised the family to turn the music down, they complied and the officers  departed the area. However; while on patrol later, officers heard the music with such profane language even louder than before."

"Officers approached the group which was outside and asked them again to turn the music down. During the course of that exchange, the citizens were not compliant so the officers made a decision to arrest the instigator. At that time the citizen resisted and even shoved the officer which led to the escalation. The primary officer used his spray on the one subject but other family members attempted to intervene and prevent her arrest. Eventually four citizens were arrested for various charges including Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest, and Public Intoxication. During the course of the struggle, a kid was knocked off his bicycle. Paramedics were dispatched to treat any injured parties and the 4 citizens were transported to the Birmingham City Jail."

Police say those at the party turned down the music initially but when they came back around it was back up again.  Authorities say the officers on patrol were attempting to give residents some flexibility even though unapproved house parties are against housing authority rules.

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