A Georgia police officer involved in the arrest of former NFL prospect Desmond Marrow has been placed on administrative duty as investigators look into the use of force, part of which was captured on video by a bystander.
Video Marrow posted to social media Thursday shows the latter part of the early December 2017 arrest. Marrow, 30, is handcuffed and being pushed toward a white pickup by two officers in Henry County, just south of Atlanta.
“I’m not even fighting back,” Marrow said repeatedly before and after he is slammed into the back of the truck.
One officer reaches down and picks up Marrow’s right leg. Marrow falls hard to the ground with the officers on top of him.
Marrow becomes upset and jerks once while the officers search his pockets.
As an officer puts a hand on his neck, Marrow screams multiple times: “I can’t breathe!”
Meanwhile, a third officer arrives and puts his hand on Marrow’s shoulder.
“Settle down,” one of the officers said. “Just relax.”
Marrow appears to lose consciousness, and someone is heard saying “This is unbelievable.” An officer asks Marrow whether he is “okay.”
The video ends as officers try to get Marrow to sit up.
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***ATTENTION*** to anyone who views this post , PLEASE HELP ME GET MY VOICE HEARD!!! I Was Falsely Arrested & taken into custody in #Atlanta #Georgia #HenryCounty by the Henry County Police . 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 slammed me on my head and choked me out until I was unconscious. 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. 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. They threw me into isolation and labeled me a gang member because of my tattoos. I was fully cooperating with the officers with ZERO resistance. I thought I was going to die. I was sure I was passing out or dying when Officer #D.Rose was choking me as my breath kept slipping away. Henry county police dept was trying to keep me quiet, but once they found out I was a former #NFLplayer & there was a video of the incident did they then try to drop my charges. They said I was resisting arrest, being out of control, spitting and assaulting the Officers by head butting them. But GOD recorded it and I have PROOF! You know the truth take a lil longer to make it around lies travel faster 💯. They locked me up & gave me No bond which gave me NO voice YOU guys are my voice I NEED your help . I been sleepin on the floor I can’t get a job with these #Felonies I lost my gym all my clients & training kids is my passion that’s ALL I wana do I can’t pay my child support I would love to see my son I’d take any type of love Bruh it’s real right now 💔 #Repost #Share #Like #Repost @theshaderoom @troubleman31
“It was scary,” Marrow said
Marrow told CNN he went through several emotions when watching the video. One was joy, he said, because he felt like people would now believe his version of the arrest.
Marrow said he was afraid he was going to be killed when the officer put his hand on his throat.
“I couldn’t figure out if I was dying or passing out,” he said. “It was scary.”
Marrow said he lost consciousness twice during the incident. On social media, he said he suffered a concussion and also lost teeth.
Police didn’t comment on the video and said, in a statement, they are looking into the incident.
“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 department said.
An internal investigation, the department’s second into the arrest, began earlier this month. The unidentified officer was placed on administrative duty Friday.
Police didn’t provide answers to questions left on voicemail by CNN.
Marrow, who tried out for two NFL teams but never made a regular season roster, faces charges of aggressive driving and obstruction of a law enforcement officer. His case is pending.
The arrest “never should have happened,” Chris Stewart, one of Marrow’s attorneys, told CNN. “He was the victim of a hate crime but, yet, he became the victim of an incident of police brutality.”
Suspected road rage incident
According to a police report, officers suspected Marrow was involved in a road rage incident and one of the officers responding to the call recalled seeing him driving aggressively earlier.
Marrow, who is black, said he was following a car after two white men yelled a racial slur at him and he was splashed by hot coffee thrown against his car door.
He said he told police he was trying to follow the men so he could get their license plate and talk to the men.
But, the report said one of the men claiming to be in the other car, told police Marrow followed him closely, tried to hit his car with the pickup and threw a rock that dented a door on his vehicle.
Marrow told CNN he was handcuffed as police searched his car for 30 minutes, looking for a gun. He said he gave permission to conduct the search and cooperated with officers. According to the police report, no weapons were found.
When officers went to arrest Marrow, he refused to put his hands behind his back until he was told the officer was going to use a Taser, the report said.
Marrow didn’t follow officers’ commands when they initially tried to search him, the report said.
One of the arresting officers said Marrow attempted to kick the other cop, who was trying to get Marrow to spread his legs.
Marrow was taken to the ground because “he was struggling” with the officers, the report said. They allege he also attempted to head-butt and kick the officers.
Marrow denies making threat
The video doesn’t capture Marrow’s initial interactions with the police or his interaction with the individuals he said called him racial slurs and threw coffee at him. Bystanders told police Marrow threatened to shoot the people in the other vehicle in that incident. Marrow denied making such a threat.
Marrow admits he used the F-word several times when he learned he was going to be arrested.
Andrea Boyd, another of Marrow’s attorneys, said the Henry County Police Department needs to make changes.
“These officers are bad officers. Henry County should want these officers off of the force immediately,” she said, adding other officers should go through additional training.
Marrow, who spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Houston Texans in advance of the 2012 season, said he is now a trainer but recently lost his gym at the same time he went through a divorce, which he connects to the fallout from the incident and felony charges against him.
Black Lives Matter said it plans to hold a rally Monday in the Atlanta suburb of McDonough.