To counter growing outrage over a brief video posted to social media of a 10-year-old child being restrained by police officers with the Athens-Clark County Police Department, officials held a press conference and released the full body camera footage of the encounter.
The full video shows officers calmly arresting a domestic violence suspect for aggravated assault by strangulation and false imprisonment as his 10-year-old son becomes extremely agitated.
The child eventually attacks one of the officers, jumping on him and forcing the officer to take the child to the ground and tells the boy to calm down and he wouldn’t be in trouble. Officers then let him speak with his dad before taking him to jail.
Here is the initial video post with false information that went viral, creating the misplaced outrage in the community:
And here is the full statement from the department on the incident:
On 07/20/2018 at approximately 6:30 pm, officers made contact with a domestic violence suspect at his residence on Sartain Dr. Upon completing their investigation, the suspect was placed under arrest. Once in custody, the suspect’s 10-year-old child became extremely emotionally distraught. On more than one occasion, the other adults on scene attempted to restrain the child without success. As an officer was walking the suspect to his patrol car, the child attempted to block his path and again had to be removed and restrained by the adult family members.
As the suspect was being placed in the back of the patrol car, the video clearly shows the child run pass family members and again ran towards our officer and lunged at one of the officers. Our officer caught the child in mid-air and the momentum of the child launching himself caused the both of them to land on the patrol car. The child continued to be emotionally distraught, and continued with the outburst, at which time our officer placed him on the ground. While on the ground, the officer continued to attempt to de-escalate the situation, assuring the child that he was not under arrest and that he would let him up if he would remain calm. Once the officer believed the child had calmed down, he allowed him to return to his feet. The child continued to be emotionally distraught but was not resistant towards our officers. Our officer began to console the child and helped him to understand what was happening to his father. The child asked to speak with his father and was allowed to do so by our officers.
Chief Freeman has ordered an internal affairs investigation and also has ordered the release of the officer’s body cam footage. The Athens-Clarke County attorney is reviewing the video footage due to a juvenile involvement, and the video will be release once his office has completed their review.
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