Victim’s attorney disagrees with SFA about releasing body camera video from “swatting” incident

Victim’s family attorney disagrees with SFA about releasing body camera video from “swatting” incident

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Back on September 14th, Stephen F. Austin State University police officers entered a student’s dorm room, responding to a report of a woman who was brandishing scissors and making threats to other residents.

It was after police entered Christin Evans' room when they learned there was no threat, and a false report had been made. Now, the university is asking permission from the victim to release body camera video of the incident.

East Texas News Weekend’s T’Ebonie Tanner has more tonight from both sides, who disagree about what to do with the body camera footage.

Today, SFA officials held a press conference about the false report that led to university police entering Christin Evans' dorm room.

“We call on the Evans family to join us in this effort of transparency by agreeing to release the police bodycam video of the early morning hours of the incident on September 14th. The bodycam video depicts a much different reality than has been recalled,” said Erica Smith, SFA public communications liaison.

Randall Kallinen is an attorney representing the Evans family. He said they have not seen the body cam video, and do not agree with the university about making that video public.

“Apparently, they have all watched this video. The police have watched the video, and SFA has watched the video. But the people who are not getting to watch the video is the Evans family,” Kallinen said.

Kallinen said it is important to note that Cristin Evans is a still a minor.

“Then the school wants to directly release some unknown portion of it to the public. I mean, you do not know if the young girl in her underwear or not. She certainly woke up from sleeping. What are they thinking? She has been highly traumatized,” Kallinen said. “We have asked for the video, and they have threatened that if we get it, then they will directly release whatever portion to the public. So, right now we do not have a lot of trust in SFA, and this just adds to it.”

Harris said the university hopes to tell the whole story as it happened through the body cam video, and disciplinary action for the students who made the false report can range from suspension to expulsion.

“The investigation conducted by the SFA police department, which includes possible multiple criminal charges against multiple students has been handed over to the Nacogdoches County Districts Attorney’s Office,” Harris said.

Kallinen said the family wants disciplinary action against the students who made the false report.

“This should have been done already. But instead, Cristin sees some of these individuals when she’s out on campus,” Kallinen said.

Harris said the university’s goal is to find a positive conclusion to this case.

“We are hoping there will be closure, and that those who are responsible will be held accountable for the actions that they’ve done," Harris said. "Also, that Ms. Evans will be able to heal and that the community will be able to heal. Once again by releasing the bodycam footage it gives the community the opportunity to do just that. To be able to come together and unite as a community, and rally support behind Ms. Evans.”

SFA officials say the disciplinary investigation is expected to be concluded at the end of the week, and it will determine what university disciplinary actions will be taken.

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