Officer involved in former football player’s violent arrest is fired
A Georgia police officer who choked former NFL prospect Desmond Marrow during an arrest in December has been fired, officials said.
On Thursday, Henry County Police Chief Mark Amerman said the officer’s employment was terminated after an internal affairs investigation revealed his use of force was unnecessary. The officer was recorded saying he choked Marrow, Amerman said.
The actions of another officer who was involved were found to be within department policy, Amerman said.
The Henry County District Attorney’s Office announced it was dismissing a felony charge of obstruction of an officer against Marrow. And misdemeanor charges, including reckless and aggressive driving, are under review by the office of the solicitor general, said District Attorney Darius Pattillo.
“We have reviewed the police reports, witness statements, 911 calls, audio and videos, as well as interviewed witnesses, and determined there is insufficient evidence to present any felony charges to a grand jury,” Patillo said.
The DA’s office continues to investigate officers’ use of force, the statement added.
“We’re proud of Henry County,” Chris Stewart, Marrow’s attorney, told CNN. “They did the right thing here.”
Now, Stewart says he and his client want Henry County police to “acknowledge the damage they’ve done.”
Marrow, who is black, posted video of the incident to social media late last month. In it, Marrow, 30, is handcuffed and is slammed into a truck by Henry County police officers. One officer lifts his leg and he falls to the ground with the officers on top of him.
The other officer then put his hand on Marrow’s neck, while he screams multiple times, “I can’t breathe!”
The alleged road rage incident
The arrest stemmed from an alleged road rage incident Marrow was involved in south of Atlanta, according to a police report.
Marrow, who is black, said that 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 says one of the men claiming to be in the other car, told police that 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 that 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 says.
One of the arresting officers says 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 says. They allege he also attempted to head-butt and kick the officers.
Marrow, who tried out for two NFL teams but never made a regular season roster, has denied making any threats.