Von Maur employees recount altercation between shoplifter and police

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Weeks after video of an arrest inside Davenport's Von Maur made international headlines, newly-released audio recordings are shedding light on what happened between police and admitted shoplifter Brandie Redell in February.

Monday, News Eight obtained the recordings of police interviews with three Von Maur employees who witnessed the altercation. Two officers had just arrived at their office when one employee said Redell lashed out.

"She was getting very angry, very upset. It was like an almost lunge out of her seat, just short of fully standing up. She would scream, whether it would be 'F you' or whatever," she said.

Another employee cowered with Redell's daughter in the corner.

"I started talking to the little girl, trying to distract her. You could tell her mom was a little off her rocker, you could say," she said.

Redell then got on her cell phone.

"She was half yelling at us, half yelling at the person on her cell phone, basically saying, 'These officers know you, they're giving me a hard time.' When nobody had given her a hard time about anything," said an employee. "She lashed out again, and he, Officer Crow, was finally like, 'You know what? You need to put your hands behind your back.'"

"He [Officer Crow] was placing her under arrest, threw his book down, and he proceeded toward her. At that point, it looked to me like she was just kinda getting away from him, leaning away. He proceeded to get on top of her there. [Officer] Jacobson joined in there...and at that time, she did start struggling," said another worker.

"All of a sudden, you could see him pull his arm back really quick and say, 'Ah, she bit me,'" said a Von Maur employee.

At that point, an employee recalls watching Crow reach back down and hit Redell two times with his left fist, directly to the back of her head. A police investigator then asked each employee whether they believed the blows were retaliatory or necessary to gain control.

"If it was me in his spot, I don't know if I would have maybe laid fist down on her. But everyone does things differently. Once she bit him, I think she's a person, not a woman, not a man," one said.

"They definitely were trying to get control of her, but I mean, the timing was right after she got done biting him. But I think it was definitely that she was not giving up, and she was continuing to fight," said another.

That internal investigation did conclude that the officers violated policy and both were disciplined, but they are still on the job.

Redell was sentenced to two years in prison for shoplifting. Her attorney says he is working with her to file a civil lawsuit against the Davenport Police Department.

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