Video of woman’s arrest by Atlanta police sparks uproar on social media
Atlanta PD releases hour-long body camera video defending officer
ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - A video that shows a woman being arrested in Atlanta Monday night has sparked community uproar.
Angel Guice, the woman in the video, is now represented by a civil rights attorney as part of a legal challenge against the Atlanta Police Department, alleging excessive force by the officer.
“The officer did in fact tell her to put her hands behind her back but he never offered her an explanation for why she was arrested,” said Lee Merritt, civil right attorney representing Guice.
Merritt said Guice slept in jail on Monday night and is recovering from mental and emotional trauma.
“The officer’s refusal to provide that explanation escalated the situation to one that was deeply agitated and completely unnecessary,” Merritt continued in an interview with CBS46 on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Atlanta Police defended its officer and released the body camera footage from the officer’s arrest.
A spokesperson for the department says there was no violation by the officer, adding in a statement:
“Several unnecessary decisions, that were entirely out of our control, resulted in a physical altercation with an officer and the physical arrest of this female,” said a spokesperson in an email.
Atlanta police say they’re patrolling parks more due to recent homicides.
The viral social media video shows the officer giving the woman a warning that she’ll be arrested if she doe not sign a citation. Many people are expressing outrage.
Police are claiming that Guice refused to sign a citation but her lawyer says otherwise.
“Here, my client, Ms. Guice, never refused to sign. She simply asked for additional information and the officer was very short and quickly escalated to the use of force,” said Merritt.
In the body camera footage that the Atlanta Police Department released, you can hear the full exchange.
We took the videos to a retired police officer and Use of Force Specialist Mike Leonesio.
He told us that the question that has to be asked ultimately is “Was the use of force used by the officer objectively reasonable given the circumstances?”
Leonesio explained that the judge will weigh the severity of the woman’s crime, her immediate threat to the officer or the public, and whether she is actively resisting arrest.
According to APD police, refusing to sign a citation is enough cause for an officer to place a person under arrest. APD also said that the incident is under internal investigation and the status of the officer has not changed at this time.
WATCH THE FULL VIDEO
Atlanta Police Department posted this on social media:
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