Atlanta PD releases bodycam footage after accusations of excessive force in neighborhood trying to leave city




  • In US
  • 2022-08-14 21:30:23Z
  • By Fox News

The Atlanta Police Department released body camera footage of a recent arrest of a woman after a short video of the incident gained attention on social media and set off accusations that the officer used excessive force.

"Do you have IDs on you," an officer is heard asking a man and a woman he spotted in the Shady Valley Park after hours last Monday evening. The park is closed to the public at 11 p.m. and the officer was attempting to give the two individuals citations for the ordinance violation due to their presence in the park at about 11:50 p.m., according to police.

In the video, the officer instructs both people to sign the tickets or face arrest. The man complies, but the woman is seen asking the officer for his name and badge number and telling him she does not have to sign the ticket.

"Well, like I explained to him, if you don't sign it, then you're gonna be physically taken to jail," the officer tells her before the situation escalates when the woman continues refusing to comply.

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The officer repeatedly tells the woman to put her hands behind her back, which she also refuses.

"I'm going to sign the ticket now," she says, as he tries to put handcuffs on and tells her it's too late to sign the ticket. "Why am I being arrested?"

She's soon seen laying on the ground crying, while the officer has a Taser gun out and is on top of her while attempting to handcuff her. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution identified the officer as Bill Brooks, who was hired by the department in 2016. The outlet did not name the woman or man who violated the city ordinance since they were not charged with felonies.

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A 90-second video of the incident soon spread on social media, prompting outrage from some viewers who accused the officer of using excessive force.

"Are we not aloud (sic) to ask questions about our rights without ego taking over," an Instagram user who identified herself as the arrested woman's sister posted, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Why was a taser pulled out? Why was she frisked by a male officer? Aren't police here to protect and serve? What kind of training is this? Aggressive officers like this have to be STOPPED!!"

Others responded that the video of the incident was "horrible."

"Omfg. I am so sorry. This is horrible. And why is his face covered?" American Idol winner Jordin Sparks commented on the video posted to Instagram.

The park is located in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, a wealthy and residential section of the city that has worked to secede from Atlanta due to rampant crime.

Police said they had heightened patrols in city parks following homicides this month at Wilson Mill Park and Rosa L. Burney Park.

The Atlanta Police Department said in a statement that it is "aware of video footage circulating on social media," and released the full bodycam footage after a review of the incident made it "immediately clear there is more to this story than the short social media video shows."

"No one wants to see a fight between an officer and a citizen, but a more in-depth review of the incident, using the body worn camera footage, shows the officer repeatedly ask the female to comply by placing her hands behind her back and the footage shows she refuses each time," the department said in the statement.

The woman was treated for pain in her wrist, leg, back and knee at the Grady Detention Center, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. She was then booked at the Atlanta city jail.

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"If an officer explains you will be taken to jail for something and you choose to push the officer to that limit, you will end up in jail," the department said in the Thursday statement. A police department spokesman said the officer was not disciplined over the incident, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Crime has been plaguing Atlanta in recent years, with a report last month finding the city has a higher murder rate than Chicago, at 17 murders per 100,000 population to Chicago's 13 per 100,000.

In Buckhead, citizens have been trying to secede from the city in response to the increased crime and what they say is lack of action from city leadership.

"We are really feeling like this is a war zone, and I don't say that lightly, especially given what you experienced in a war zone," Buckhead City Committee CEO Bill White told "Fox & Friends First" in June. "This is murder and mayhem … We are dealing with a mayor who voted to defund the police."

"It's obvious that police officers do not want to come work for a mayor or a city that does not back them, so Buckhead wants to take things into its own hands," he added.

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