Akron police respond to use of force video following bar fight at Barley House

AKRON, Ohio - The Akron Police Department is defending officers who kicked and tackled suspects after a bar fight.

Some questioned whether police used excessive force after a YouTube video surfaced. However, police said another video, released on Tuesday, captured the entire picture.

Since the officers used force, their actions are under review. According to Lt. Rick Edwards, it doesn't appear the force was excessive.

In the YouTube video, you can see officers taking down and kicking bar fight suspects outside of Barley House early Sunday morning.

A witness who talked with NewsChannel5 felt the officers went too far. But Lt. Edwards said the YouTube video only captured a portion of the incident. A city-owned camera caught the entire encounter.

"It looks like the officers were doing exactly what they're trained to do," Edwards explained. "At this point, they're trying to get one person under control. The fight continues to the next one and it just seems like the four that were involved in the fight inside continually are at the officers."

The fighting at the bar stopped traffic as it spilled into South Main Street. Officers used their ASPs, similar to metal nightsticks, along with tackling techniques and their feet to get four belligerent guys under control.

Bouncers kicked the guys out minutes before the outdoor scene for the same incident indoors.

In the end, all four men were arrested.

And while the actions of the officers will be reviewed, Edwards believes people are too quick to judge in an age of instant video.

"If you look at the whole entire picture, it paints a whole different picture here of what the officers went through."

A manager at Barley House saw what happened outside the establishment, but didn't comment because he said he doesn't know police training and procedures.

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