Attorneys for a former college football player who says he was assaulted by Henry County police during an arrest last year want an obstruction charge dropped.
They say video of the incident contradicted officers’ claims that their client, Desmond Marrow, resisted arrest.
In an arrest warrant, Henry County police Officer D. Rose alleged Marrow refused to obey officers’ commands and fought with police, forcing them to take him to the ground, attorney Chris Stewart stated in a letter to Henry County police and the board of commissioners.
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“It has been made crystal clear that the basis for this charge is built upon false statements by Officer Rose after a review of the video tape, and the charge must be dropped,” Stewart wrote.
Stewart also asked for transparency about when police and the board were aware that police statements contradicted the video.
One of the officers involved in the arrest was placed on administrative duty, according to police Chief Mark Amerman.
Marrow, 30, a former University of Toledo cornerback, was arrested Dec. 2 in what police said was a road rage incident, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. Video of the arrest surfaced on Facebook last month and showed Marrow being forced to the ground in handcuffs and being choked.
At one point, Marrow is heard screaming “I’m not even fighting back” and saying “I can’t breathe” multiple times.
Police charged him with making terroristic threats, reckless driving and felony obstruction of an officer. Stewart said the Henry County Magistrate Court dropped the terroristic threats charge after they determined no threat was made.
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Citing Georgia law, Stewart asserted that for obstruction of law enforcement to occur, Marrow would have had to willfully resist, obstruct or oppose officers, preventing them from making the arrest.
“There can be no obstruction for an unlawful arrest,” Stewart wrote in the letter. “Mr. Marrow was the victim of a hate crime and tried to explain that to the officers.”
Marrow alleged he was called racial slurs by two men while driving and had hot coffee thrown in his vehicle. He then followed them to a shopping center to discuss the incident, his attorneys said.
They added that a witness called 911 and erroneously reported that Marrow had a weapon.
“Every day that he continues to have a felony on his record is a day of moving forward with his life lost,” Stewart wrote.