Atlanta Police body camera video of woman being cited in park

The Atlanta Police Department released footage to show the moments leading up to the now-viral interaction.

ATLANTIS — Editor’s note: 11Alive cut portions of the officer’s body camera video to highlight the moments between the woman and the police involved in the encounter.

The Atlanta Police Department released an officer’s hour-long body camera video after part of his encounter with a woman during a citation went viral on social media.

The man involved in the encounter with the woman recorded the part of the video went viral on social media. The now-viral video shows an APD officer wearing a face covering and gloves while apparently arresting a woman who continues to wonder why he is trying to handcuff her.

In response to this video, APD showed his perspective and the officer’s body camera video related to the incident.

APD released the following statement in part:

The Atlanta Police Department (APD) is aware of video footage circulating on social media of an Atlanta police officer arresting a woman for being in a city park after hours . Upon learning of the incident, members of the APD command staff immediately began reviewing the incident to determine the facts surrounding the case. It became immediately clear that there is more to this story than the short social media video broadcasts and the decision was made to release the body-worn camera footage of the officer who carried out the incident. ‘arrest.

The officer’s body camera video begins while he is driving and he stops in front of a blue Kia Forte. At the two minute timestamp, the video audio starts and the officer can be heard saying he is answering a call.

The APD said the officer responded to Shady Valley Park in Buckhead around 11.50pm on Monday. The park closes at 11 p.m.

The officer gets out of his patrol car and approaches a man and a woman, who have already gotten out of their car, video shows.

In the officer’s body camera video, the officer is seen approaching the man and woman, then he explains to them that they are not allowed to be inside a park from the city of Atlanta between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. The officer is heard commenting that their car has an Ohio license plate, acknowledging that they appear to be out of town.

The officer asks for their IDs, he takes them both and goes back inside his patrol car, shows the video.

When the officer joins them around 18 minutes into the body camera video, he tells them again that they cannot be at the park at night. He tells them that they will both get a ticket and he asks them to each sign a separate citation. The officer tells them that if they don’t sign the ticket, they will be arrested, body camera video shows.

“For most traffic violations and municipal ordinances, officers are authorized to issue a copy of the charges and release the individual once they sign the ticket,” APD said in a statement. part.

Bodycam video shows that after the man looks at the ticket and the signs, the woman repeatedly asks the officer for her name and badge number.

“I don’t have to sign that, do I?” the woman is heard asking on the video.

“You have to sign it,” the officer said.

She replied, “No, I don’t.”

The officer reiterated that if she doesn’t sign she “will be physically taken to jail.” She replied, “Understood.” The woman again asks for the name of the officer, shows the video encounter.

Tensions between the officer and the woman begin to escalate when he again asks her to sign the citation. She told the officer no and that she wanted her name and badge number again.

At the 20 minute timestamp of the body camera video, the officer asked the woman to put her hands behind her back. The officer then grabs the woman’s arm with both hands, repeatedly telling her she is under arrest, according to APD footage.

The video shows the physical altercation between the officer and the woman for several minutes. The woman is crying and screaming in the body camera video.

The video shows the woman finally agreeing to sign the ticket.

“I’ll sign the ticket,” she told the officer.

“You don’t have that option now,” the officer replied.

The officer tells her that she continues to resist arrest and that other officers are coming to help her. Officers get the woman into a patrol car around 27 minutes into the video.

The woman repeatedly asks the officers if they read her rights in the video. Officers continue to discuss what happened, noting that park hours are posted.

Atlanta police officers have been instructed to increase patrols in city parks due to security concerns, the APD said.

RELATED: 6-year-old critically acclaimed, 2 dead, 3 injured in Southwest Atlanta park shooting, police say

In a statement, the APD said it addressed several issues regarding the woman’s arrest:

  • An officer is not required to read someone their Miranda rights before arresting them.
  • The officer wore a mask and rubber gloves in an effort to protect against viruses or communicable diseases and was authorized to do so.
  • If an officer explains that you will be taken to jail for something and you choose to push the officer to that limit, you will end up in jail.

“Ultimately, this incident began as an effort to address the issues in our city parks. The officer clearly intended to issue a citation to each party and allow them to leave the park. Several unnecessary decisions, which were entirely beyond our control, resulted in a physical altercation with an officer and the physical arrest of this individual,” the DPA concluded in its statement.

“There was no need to use the practical method there once she agreed and once she truly realized she was potentially going to be arrested,” the Georgia NAACP president said. , Gerald Griggs.

Griggs said his opinion did not change after watching the police body camera video.

“We plan to meet with the chief of police. We plan to meet with a young woman and her lawyer. We plan to get to the bottom of what really happened,” Griggs said.

Crime and security expert Mark Baughman has a background in law enforcement and thinks blame goes both ways.

“It’s always good to comply with the police. I’m pretty sure she knew she wasn’t going to jail,” Baughman said.

However, Baughman believes the officer could have defused the situation by allowing the woman to sign the ticket when she said she had changed her mind.

“You have to weigh what you’re dealing with here. We’re not talking about a criminal offence. We’re not even talking about a misdemeanor criminal offence. We’re talking about a traffic violation,” a- he declared.

We asked 11Alive legal analyst Page Pate if people should legally sign traffic tickets. He said no and adds that it only means that you acknowledge and receive the ticket, without admitting your guilt.

Baughman added that Georgia law says “may” instead of “should” when it comes to someone signing a ticket, so the policy is at the discretion of each police department.

Kevin A. Perras