The Atlanta Police Department is supporting the tactics employed by one of its officers who forcefully arrested a Black woman.
On Thursday (August 11), the Atlanta Police Department shared body camera footage and a detailed statement in defense of the intense encounter between an officer and Angel Guice that was videoed and widely shared on social media.
In the cell phone footage originally posted on Wednesday (August 10), a male cop identified as "Officer Brooks" can be seen swinging Guice to the ground and brandishing his Taser as she begs the officer to tell her what she's being arrested for.
According to WSB-TV, the incident began when the officer attempted to issue a citation to Guice and an unidentified male as they were hanging out at Shady Valley Park in northeast Atlanta after closing time.
Reports say the officer explained to the pair that the citation was merely a ticket and that no charges would be brought against them for the incident. The two could, however, go to jail if they failed to sign the citation, the officer allegedly informed Guice and the male.
Per the outlet, Guice proceeded to ask for the officer's badge number and full name. The cop declined to give the woman his first name but provided her with his badge number.
When Guice didn't quickly comply and sign the citation, the officer handcuffed her. The encounter escalated to the point where Guice was slammed to the ground, and her hair scarf was ripped off her head.
In their statement accompanied by body camera footage, the Atlanta Police Department said that because Guice didn't initially sign the citation “the officer may then physically arrest the individual.”
“She began actively resisting his efforts. This resulted in a physical altercation as the officer attempted to place her into custody,” the statement reads in part.
However, Guice has now hired civil rights attorney Lee Merritt who is accusing the officer of excessive force.
“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,” Merrit said in a statement. “The officer’s refusal to provide that explanation escalated the situation to one that was deeply agitated and completely unnecessary."
See the department's full statement and body camera footage here.