Newnan police chief defends officers accused of punching man in cellphone video

by: Rachel Stockman Updated:

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COWETA COUNTY, Ga. - A cellphone video of police officers punching and using a Taser on a suspect outside a Coweta County bar is causing some residents to question the officers’ conduct.

The YouTube video shows the officers using a Taser on Christopher Bryan at least twice, Bryan kicks an officer, and then the officer throws punches back. The incident happened at the Alamo early Saturday morning. 

In a police report, officers say the suspect, Christopher Bryan, was yelling profanity at them, as he attempted to walk back into the bar, he “threw his shoulder” against one of the officers.

“When I first came out. He had blood on his face, coming down his face, his glasses were off,” said Joe Petrosky, who witnessed the incident. He believes the officers went to far.

“There was no use for it. He wasn’t hurting anybody, he wasn’t doing anything,” Petrosky said.

“Did he have a weapon?” Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman asked.

“No. Like I said, he’s a nice guy,” Petrosky said.

Newnan Police Chief Douglas Meadows is urging the public not to jump to conclusions, and says the officers were using approved techniques.

“Don’t judge what you’ve seen here because these officers are using techniques that they are taught on how to apply pressure points and how to subdue a combative subject,” Meadows said.

The chief says the Taser wasn’t working to subdue Bryan, and he wasn’t listening to verbal commands. 

“It was actually two, five-second bursts that didn’t phase him as you can tell from (the video).” Meadows said. “There is a point where is foot goes off and he kicks the officer right in the stomach.”

The chief says the police officers are still on-duty, but the video has been turned over to the Coweta County district attorney to look over whether there was any excessive force.  As of Monday night, the YouTube video received nearly 13,000 hits.

“I think they (police) went too far absolutely,” said resident Kathy Hudson, after viewing the video.
 


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