An Atlanta officer’s body camera caught the disturbing moment where a baby fell to the ground during an arrest, causing immediate backlash against the police department.
According to WSB-TV, the incident took place in Covington, Ga. Thursday (May 9) but footage from the incident was released to the public on Monday (May 13). Breonna Bell called the police after she was locked out of her car. After Bell was informed she had warrants out for her arrest for failure to appear, the 21-year-old walked back to the vehicle with 7-month-old DJ in her arms.
In the body camera footage above, the officer is seen grabbing Bell as she holds the baby. After going back a family member’s car, the baby falls to the ground. “Let her take the child, OK? What are you doing to my baby?” Bell is heard saying.
Alfonso Dennis was driving by when he saw the arrest unfold and heard Bell screaming as her pants fell down.
“I see the police just manhandling this lady and her pants down,” Dennis told CBS46. He began recording and questioned why the arrest was so aggressive. “The police just grabbed her, and just slammed her, like a wrestling match or something. That wasn’t even professional, that was brutality,” he added. “She was screaming, she was screaming…it sounded like a horror movie. Everybody needs to see that, it could’ve been them. If it were my sister or something, it would have been ugly.”
But The Covington Police Department has another story as Capt. Ken Malcolm defended the officer’s action.
“Well over 20 times, he asks for her to comply and stop resisting and stop fighting and allow him to handcuff her,” Malcolm said. “The officer gave lawful orders in this situation and Ms. Bell failed to comply with those lawful orders.”
He also added that when other officers arrived on the scene they helped Bell put her pants on before she was arrested. Earlier today, the department released a breakdown of what happened on their Facebook page.
Ball’s warrants were related to a shoplifting charge. She is now facing new charges of obstruction and cruelty to children.
Activists from New Order National Human Rights Organization held a press conference about Bell’s arrest Thursday (May 14).