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Georgia

'I'm not even fighting back!': Ex-NFL player thrown to ground during arrest, video shows

Video of a black former college and NFL football player being slammed to the ground by Henry County Police in McDonough, Georgia, is drawing outrage after it spread rapidly across social media Thursday evening.

Desmond Marrow, a former University of Toledo football player who also spent one season in the NFL, posted the video to his Facebook and Instagram pages.

"I Only Had My Cell Phone in my possession & they claimed to be scared for their lives . I had No type of weapon in my possession , I was arrested for having a Gun that turned out to be my Cell Phone . During the arrest the police knocked my teeth out, slammed me on my head and choked me out until I was unconscious," Marrow wrote. "In addition I suffered a shoulder strain and a concussion along with the heartache of my Wife leaving me during this Very Hard time for my short comings and careless actions."

Click to resize

In the video, police, walk a handcuffed Marrow toward a white truck in a parking lot as he repeatedly says: "I'm not even doin' nothin.' I'm not even fighting back." Police push Marrow against the tail of the truck, before one officer picks up his right leg and Marrow is slammed to the ground.

Marrow appears to sob as he lies curled up on the ground, then shouts, "I didn't even do nothing to y'all!" as officers ask him to lie down.

Marrow shouts something, and one officer places his hand on Marrow's neck as Marrow shouts, "I can't breathe." Another officer tells Marrow to "settle down" and "just relax."

Marrow becomes quiet, limp and closes his eyes. "You OK?" two officers ask him at the same time. Officers tell him to sit up and begin puling him off the ground as the video ends.

The video was shared by Black Lives Matter of the Atlanta Area, where it was viewed more than 800,000 times and shared more than 35,000 times. It picked up more than a million more views from Occupy Democrats and other groups. The incident occurred in December, CBS 46 reported, but has only been posted recently.

"This has affected me mentally and impacted my life in a way I can’t even humanly describe . This isn’t a cry for sympathy, I just need it to be known . . . My cry is for JUSTICE," Marrow wrote on Instagram and Facebook..

There is no video yet available that shows what happened before or after the minute-long clip, but a redacted police report obtained and posted by Heavy says Marrow was arrested for reckless driving, aggressive driving, making terroristic threats and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

The report says Officer D. Rose received a call about a "moving traffic dispute" that had turned into a fight at a Target. When he arrived, Rose said he found two black males in the center aisle, one of whom he identified as Marrow. He asked whether there had been a fight, but Marrow denied it.

A witness then told the officer Marrow had threatened to shoot another person in the dispute, but Marrow denied having a gun and a pat-down confirmed no weapon, WXIA reported.



Marrow told the officer another someone in a dark sedan had tossed a coffee cup at his car as he was driving over Interstate 75, and Marrow had chased the car in an attempt to "have a conversation," according to the report posted by Heavy. "Marrow said that he was wrong for having chased the other car and that he should not have chased," Rose wrote in the report.

After interviewing witnesses, the decision was made to arrest Marrow, according to the report posted by Heavy. Rose wrote that he threatened to use a Taser on Marrow when he refused to be handcuffed, but officers were able to get the cuffs on him and he did not use the Taser. As they attempted to search him, Rose says in the report that Marrow "refused to comply" with verbal commands and began kicking at officers, causing them to "put Morrow on the ground."

Rose wrote in the report posted by Heavy that he put his hand on Marrow's neck to hold down his head because he was concerned Marrow was trying to head-butt officers. "Marrow shouted several times that he was unable to breathe, but as he was shouting, he was clearly breathing," Rose wrote.

Marrow refused treatment from an ambulance called to the site but was later refused by the jail when he complained about head, shoulder and leg injuries and began talking to a nurse about his "sideline injury," according to the report posted by Heavy. He was treated at a hospital before being returned to jail, according to the report.

Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta president Sir Maejor Page released a statement saying, “I am utterly disgusted in how HCPD handled this black man, this player did nothing that warranted him slammed, being man-handled and chocked out, especially while handcuffed."

A fundraiser for Marrow on GoFundMe has raised thousands of dollars since the video was posted.

Heavy reported that Marrow is being represented by Atlanta attorney Christopher J. Palazzola.

The Henry County Police Department released a statement Friday afternoon saying it was reviewing the events surrounding the arrest.

"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 statement read. "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.."

Media Release Henry County Police Department is reviewing the events surrounding the arrest of Mr. Desmond Marrow, who...

Posted by Henry County Police Department on Friday, April 27, 2018

 
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