Atlanta police officers caught on tape beating a man while he was on the ground claimed that they thought the man was about to smoke crack—even though, when police searched him, they did not find any drugs or drug paraphernalia in his possession, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
A video of the arrest obtained and distributed by Black Lives Matter activists shows Officer Quinton Green punching Rickey Williams several times in the head and neck.
Green claimed in his arrest report that, when he believed Williams was about to smoke crack, he asked the suspect to put his hands behind his back. Williams then dropped to the ground and began swinging his arms and legs, Green claimed.
Green’s partner, Stephenson Camille, used a stun gun on Williams, but it had no apparent effect on Williams’s kicking, according to the arrest report.
“I feared that the longer this tussle continued with Mr. Williams, the angrier and more uncontrollable the crowd would become so I deployed my city-issued Taser,” Camille wrote.
When the taser failed, Green punched Williams to subdue him and make an arrest.
Police did not recover a crack pipe or crack cocaine when they searched Williams, but they did find steel wool, which they claimed is used by crack smokers.
Williams was charged with obstruction of justice. He has a swollen eye and a bruised cheek in his booking photo, but medical officials said that the swollen eye looked as though it was not from the dispute with law enforcement, according to Green’s report.
Officer Green is currently on administrative leave while Atlanta police investigate the incident.
Williams and Green are both black, but Sir Maejor Page, a spokesman for Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta, said that the issue wasn’t racism but a culture of police violence.
“We know that Atlanta has a problem with police brutality,” Page said. “Those who are the most vulnerable are the ones who get picked on.”
[Image: Atlanta Police Department]