NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KETK) – Stephen F. Austin State University came out with a statement to respond to the attorney representing SFA student Christin Evans regarding the police body cam video.
Randall Kallinen, recently made a statement that Evans and her parents were denied an opportunity to view the police body cam video.
SFA said that the family was invited to view the video and release it to the public.
The documented invite was made on Oct. 1 during email communications with SFA legal counsel. A consent form to release the body cam video was also emailed to attorney Kallinen on Sept. 30.
SFA has also denied all the claims of intimidation and accusations of releasing deceptive edited police body cam video.
According to the release, the Evans family and their attorney expressed concerns of releasing the video because Evans was in her sleep wear.
SFA said that the video will show she was wearing a t-shirt and shorts when officers entered the room.
SFA has said that they never threatened to release the video without permission, rather, in an effort of transparency, they have called on Evans and her family to release the body cam video.
There has not yet been a face-to-face meeting with Christin, her parents, and attorney with SFA. SFA has invited them to join SFA this week at their convenience.
Stephen F. Austin State University encouraged the victim of a false police report to grant them permission to release the police body came footage, during a press conference on October 3.
University police entered 17-year-old Christin Evan’s dorm room at 3 a.m. on September 14 after she was falsely accused by her roommates of trying to stab someone with a pair of scissors.
Erika Harris, the communications liaison for the university said the investigation of the false report was handed over to the Nacogdoches County District Attorney’s office on October 2. She also mentioned the case includes possible multiple criminal charges against several students.
Harris said the police body cam footage does not show that the police stormed into Evan’s room. She added that the university wants to be transparent about the events that took place, but SFA needs Evan’s permission to release footage from that night.
“By releasing the bodycam video it will correct misinformation bring clarity and squash the rumors of aggressive police behavior,” said Harris. “We call on the Evans family to work with us and agree to releasing the body cam video to shine the light on the truth.”
The body cam footage shows that university police did identify themselves but received no answer, according to Harris.
“The police officers involved, they act in a very professional manner, as a matter of fact they knocked on her door, not once, not twice but several times,” mentioned Harris.
The officers entered Evans room after the her suite mate gave them permission and they entered through a door that connects the two rooms.
“They entered the room, only one officer’s weapon was unholstered and he had a flashlight, and once they determined that there was no threat it was placed back into the holster,” added Harris.
SFA will continue to interview witnesses and review evidence through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The university also hopes to conclude their disciplinary investigation by the end of next week and decide what action it will take against the students involved.
Harris also mentioned that SFA understands this was a traumatic experience for Evans.
“The university is not at war with the victim, Christin Evans and her family. What she experienced is nothing she asked for, likewise neither did the university police or the administration. We want Christin to feel welcomed and safe here at SFA,” said Harris.