Former Tallahassee Police Department officer, Charles Hansford, has been fired after slamming a handcuffed man into a concrete wall at the Leon County Detention facility.
On Jan. 18, Hansford and his partner, Edward Campbell, apprehended the man at 3 a.m. near the intersection of Blair Stone and Centerville. Upon responding to the crash that occurred, the man was ordered to perform sobriety tests and failed. He was taken into custody on charges for driving under the influence.
According to a TPD release, Hansford and the man were going back and forth in “heated” verbal exchanges en route to the jail. “While preparing to take the arrestee inside for intake, Hansford physically engaged with the arrestee, despite the arrestee being handcuffed,” police wrote in the press release.
Campbell, a fellow first-year officer, quickly de-escalated the situation by pushing Hansford to the ground. His partner was immediately placed on administrative leave then later terminated due to failure of following TPD’s procedures. Campbell was applauded for his quick response by TPD Police Chief Lawrence Revell.
According to Florida Politics, Revell released a statement denouncing Hansford’s actions.
“We hold the men and women who wear this uniform to the highest standards,” Revell said. “We take incidents like this very seriously and will hold those who violate the department’s policies responsible. I also want to commend Officer Campbell for his quick actions during the incident. His response reflects TPD’s commitment to protect our citizens and the humanity needed in policing.”
Allyson Christian, a second-year criminal justice scholar, expresses her bewilderment in the way Hansford conducted himself.
“None of it really made sense to me,” Christian said. “I couldn’t help but ask myself ‘why did the officer find it necessary to use excessive force towards someone who was complying?’’’
TPD Public Information Officer Alicia Turner explains how officers are equipped to follow policies and procedures in the midst of a situation.
“The best and most important thing that we could do is to make sure our officers are trained,” Turner said. “Scenario based training is one of the best ways to get officers to understand the different situations that they could be in so that they could act out how they should respond. Those scenarios play out so they can see how they’re responding, what triggers them and to make sure that they’re able to properly handle the situation so as to not make rash decisions.”
A criminal investigation has been initiated following the incident. Prior to the incident, Hansford had been with the department since 2020.
Florida A&M University Chief of Police, Terence Calloway, trusts in TPD’s decision making firmly. “I feel confident that TPD administrators will handle it accordingly.”
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the State Attorney’s office is likely to pursue charges against Hansford.