On February 7, members of the Akron Police Department were called to deescalate a report of domestic violence. Charles Hicks II was accused of threatening his girlfriend with a knife and potentially a gun as her children were inside the house. Once officers arrived, they unsuccessfully attempted to handcuff Hicks II. When their attempts failed, the situation escalated. Hicks II accuses the officers of wrestling him to the ground, kneeling on his neck and attempting to shove snow inside his mouth. The Ohio resident called it one of the scariest and most terrifying moments of his life.
“I can't breathe," Hicks II reportedly said as snow was being shoved in his mouth.
The incident triggered an internal investigation revolving around officer John Turnure. Ultimately, Turnure opted to resign from his position, but the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 said that he left his job for “various personal and professional reasons." Interim Akron Police Chief Mike Caprez has defended Turnure's actions up until the point he is accused of shoving snow into Hicks II's mouth.
“Up until the time snow was used, it was textbook,” the interim police chief stated.
“We did everything right up to that point.”
Obtained by the Akron Beacon Journal, statements from local leaders also dispute Hicks II's accusations. Specifically, local leaders have refuted Hicks II's accusation that an officer knelt on his neck.
"The city strongly refutes any allegations related to the officer’s knee affecting the breathing of the arrestee or that it caused injury to the arrestee in any way," the statement reads.
"The arrestee also appeared in court regarding the charges brought against him and at no time was any such allegation raised by him. These are being raised for the first time by his lawyer."
While the Akron Police Department continues to address Hicks II's allegations, Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan issued an apology to Hicks II.
“We disrespected a citizen and for that, I apologize,” Horrigan stated.
Hicks II is now working with attorney Eddie Sipplen to pursue criminal charges against Turnure and the Akron Police Department. As for the report of domestic violence, Hicks II has been charged with menacing and resisting arrest. He is set to appear in court on April 27.
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