Officer placed on leave following video of ex-football player's arrest
HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - A Henry County Police officer involved in the arrest of former college and NFL football player, Desmond Marrow, has been placed on paid administrative leave after the video of the arrest surfaced.
The video, which Marrow posted on his Instagram page Thursday night, shows officers slamming Marrow to the ground while attempting to arrest him. Officers said in their police report that Marrow was visibly agitated and resisted arrest.
The arrest happened back in December on Jonesboro Road following what police describe as a road rage incident. Marrow faced charges of terroristic threats, reckless driving, and aggressive driving, although attorneys said the charge of terroristic threats were later dropped.
"He was the victim of this, and ended up being a victim of police brutality," an attorney said at a press conference.
According to the police incident report, in December 2017, Mr. Marrow claims two men in a separate car threw coffee at Marrow's vehicle. Police said Marrow, in the report, admitted to chasing them during the initial interview; in a press conference Friday, Marrow argued instead he tried to follow them to get the license plate of the vehicle.
In the report, the two males in the other car claim Marrow threatened to kill them, and another witness told police he threatened to shoot them. Marrow tells FOX 5, he never threatened the two men and cooperated with police during questioning and the arrest, although a witness told FOX 5 Marrow resisted arrest.
"I calmly responded. I never did anything physically to them," Marrow said.
"I think it's unfair. Two felony charges.To say, 'I had coffee thrown on me...' and the white kids weren't charged," Marrow said, who also now claims the two white men also used racial slurs against him.
Witness Robert Swinson said he saw both vehicles driving erratically into the shopping center off Jonesboro Road, and witnessed Marrow visibly angry at what transpired.
"He was agitated. He was mad... He said they threw something on his truck. I said, 'Just wash your truck. It will come out, man,'" Swinson said, who arrived hoping to diffuse the tension of the situation.
"He did put up a fight-- I don't feel like he needed to be choked," Swinson said, in regards to Marrow resisting arrest and what appears to be in the video officers putting a chokehold on him.
Henry County Police released this statement:
"Although at the time of arrest an initial use of force review was conducted by Internal Affairs, earlier this month, Police Chief Mark Amerman ordered an Internal Affairs Investigation to be conducted. As of today, the officer involved is on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation. The criminal case against Mr. Marrow is currently pending in the Henry County District Attorney’s Office. The Henry County Police Department takes any charges of excessive use of force very seriously and wants to assure the public that this event will be fully investigated."
The Henry County District Attorney's Office also released the following statement:
"In addition to the criminal case, my office will conduct an investigation parallel to the Henry County Police Department’s Internal Affairs’ investigation. Last year, my office implemented a review process for police use of force and officer-involved deaths. This review panel, which is comprised of myself, another veteran prosecutor, my chief investigator and a use of force expert, will determine whether the use of force was justified based on police policies and state law.
"We are looking at the full video of the incident captured by witnesses, as well as police dash cameras, witness statements, police reports and all other evidence. Once the investigation is complete, we will be able to release further details about the incident. But for now, that is all part of a pending case."