University Communications Liaison Erika Harris said University officials are urging the Evans family to release the body camera footage of the false report incident on Sept. 14 during a press conference on Oct. 3.
“We are committed to transparency,” Harris said. “We call on the Evans family to join us in this effort of transparency by agreeing to release the police body cam video of the early morning hours of the incident on Sept. 14.” Harris said the footage depicts a much different reality than what has been reported.
“By releasing the body cam video, it will correct information, bring clarity and squash the rumors of aggressive police behavior,” Harris said. “Most importantly, by releasing the body cam video, it will tone down the divisive rhetoric. Once again, 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.”
Another member of the press asked if Harris was implying the Evans family was lying about what took place, and Harris said the investigation is only focusing on facts.
“I’m not a mind-reader, and it would be presumptuous for me to assume what people are thinking,” Harris said. “I can only talk about the evidence of the case. We cannot just assume how others are thinking about this case, we can only discuss the facts.”
Harris also said Evans’ attorney has not contacted the University with the intent to file a lawsuit, as of Oct. 3.
The investigation conducted by the University Police Department of the incident was handed to the County District Attorney’s office, which will determine possible criminal charges, on Oct. 2, Harris said.
The University disciplinary investigation is still ongoing, and The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities is continuing to interview witnesses and review evidence, but Harris said it is expected to conclude by the end of next week.
“At that time, it will be determined what University disciplinary actions will be taken,” Harris said.
The University continues to offer support to Christin and her family, Harris said.
“It is important to note that the University is not at war with the victim, Christin Evans, and her family,” Harris said. “What she experienced was nothing she asked for. Likewise, neither did the University Police or administration. We want Christin to feel welcome and safe here at SFA. It is our desire to work with her family, so they feel much more comfortable having her here.”
In an email statement, University President Dr. Scott Gordon said, “The University administration has already begun working with a wide variety of campus constituencies in the development of updated policies and procedures that will help ensure that incidents similar to this are dealt with as expeditiously and effectively as possible in the future.”
UPD Chief of Police John Fields was present at the press conference but did not speak.
For The Pine Log’s previous reporting on this incident, read the previous article here.