Sheriff reacts to video that shows agents stepping on man's head



BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. - A local sheriff is talking about accusations that his drug task force used excessive force during the arrest of a man who appeared to be surrendering.

The man shown being hurt in the video is still at the Bartow County Jail while his family works to post his bail.

Meantime, for the first time, the Bartow County sheriff sat down with Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant to talk about what he saw in the video and his next steps.

"I feel that we're in the right and everything should be good to go," said Bartow County Sheriff Clark Millsap about the surveillance video that caught his drug task force's takedown of Michael West inside West's Emerson business last week.

After it seems West surrendered, the video shows the men rush past with shotguns drawn. One of them stepped on West's head.

"Everybody was looking up trying to clear up, clear up, clear up, and somebody accidentally stepped on Mr. West. That's my opinion," Millsap said.

But West's daughter isn't convinced it was just an accident, calling the officer's force excessive.

"I want justice. I want to prevent this from happening to anyone else," said Angela West.

West's mug shot shows him bandaged and bruised and Wednesday afternoon his lawyer sent the sheriff a formal request for a full investigation.

"Every complaint I've ever had has been a serious complaint. If we have any allegations of any wrongdoing by an officer, excessive force anything such as that, any misconduct, we take those very seriously and I take this one very serious also," Millsap said.

The Bartow-Cartersville drug task force got involved after Emerson police asked for help serving West, who has a criminal history, with several outstanding felony warrants.

"He has a past. He's not perfect, but nothing that he's done merits what happened in that video," Angela West said.

Millsap said it will take a while to sort everything out.