The Atlanta Police Department is standing by their use of excessive force on a Black woman who was arrested after a heated exchange in August.
In video footage that captured the standoff, Angel Guice is seen begging an officer named Officer Brooks to explain to her why she was being arrested. Officer Brooks is seen in the video slamming Guice to the ground and wielding his taser at her as she cries for more information.
According to local media reports, the encounter ensued after the officer approached her and an unidentified male who were hanging out at a park after closing time. The officer attempted to write a citation and explained to them it is was a ticket and no charges would be brought up against them unless they refused to sign the citation.
WSB reported that Guice asked the officer for his name and badge number. He declined and only provided his badge number. After Guice still refused to sign the citation the officer handcuffed her and swung her to the ground.
The Atlanta Police Department issued a statement following the encounter stating that “she began actively resisting his efforts. This resulted in a physical altercation as the officer attempted to place her into custody. The officer may then physically arrest the individual.”
Guice has hired civil rights attorney Lee Merritt in a lawsuit she has brought against the city.
“The officer did in fact tell her to put her hands behind her back but he never offered her an explanation for why she was arrested,” Merrit said in a statement. “The officer’s refusal to provide that explanation escalated the situation to one that was deeply agitated and completely unnecessary.”
Atlanta Police Detective Vincent Velazquez provided this advice to anyone who may encounter an incident like this in the future: “I would suggest anybody dealing with a situation like this, even if you think you are in the right, just sign the ticket then fight that fight another day in court.”