Below is a statement from Joseph H. Lumpkin, Sr., Chief of Police:
“Earlier today, a local defense attorney released an edited version of a SCMPD officer’s body worn camera video.
Because the edited version is misleading, is apparently intended to be inflammatory, and to continue our transparency with the community, the SCMPD is releasing all of the body camera video of the incident. (The videos are posted below.)
On February 1, 2016 at approximately 5:30 p.m. three officers were dispatched to a residence on the 3200 block of Martha Street to locate an individual at a specific address who according to detectives in Delano, California, had been in possession of a cell phone involved in robbery in California. While in route, the officers completed a warrant check on the named individual and learned there was an active Simple Assault warrant out of Cobb County. Upon entering the driveway a person who resembled the wanted person was observed seated in a car.
As you will see on the video, the officers spoke with the individual and requested his name. The individual was uncooperative and although he presented a first name at some point, it was unclear to the officers. As you will also see in the video after the individual was asked to get out of the car, he refused to exit the car, was uncooperative, and reached down toward the floorboard of the car in a manner which the officers perceived as a threat to their safety. After warning the individual several times, one of the officers tased the suspect and arrested him.
The video released by the defense attorney was edited and omits significant portions wherein a relative asks the individual to be cooperative. The relative on the video also suggests the arrestee is similar in appearance to the wanted person, who purportedly lived at that residence. The edited video also omits other calm interactions the officers had with relatives and the arrestee.
In order to continue our transparency with the public, the SCMPD has posted the video recordings in their entirety from all three officers who were on the scene in question.
The incident and video was brought to the attention to the Chief of Police on July 12, 2016 and we have begun an administrative investigation of this incident.
Police officers nation-wide face complex duties which require them to make decisions in an instant. They must simultaneously decide how to protect the public, the involved citizens, and protect their own safety.
We are reviewing the actions and decisions which our officers made in the current case. In doing so, we must consider all the facts and not rush to unfair judgements based on highly edited videos which are apparently intended to mislead and inflame the public against the officers involved.
SCMPD is committed to fairness, transparency and accountability. We ask that everyone involved in this incident, and similar ones involving conflicts between the police and the public, be committed to these same goals, and held to these same standards.
The SCMPD will not comment further until we complete our administrative investigation.”
Video #1 from “Officer A”
Video #2 from “Officer B”
Video #3 from “Officer C”