ATLANTA - The attorney for a man seen on video being punched by an Atlanta Police officer said he wants to see more punishment for the officers involved in the arrest.
Rickey Williams, 24, was arrested on a obstruction of justice charge on June 22.
According to a police report, Officer Quinton Green and three other officers were patrolling Broad Street in Dowtown Atlanta when they saw suspect Williams and suspected he was about to use drugs.
"He was sitting at the tree, minding his own business when he was attacked," attorney Tim McCalep said.
When officers approached Williams, they say he resisted arrest.
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One officer shocked Williams with a Taser, and video posted to social media appears to show Green punching Williams repeatedly.
No drugs were found.
Green is currently serving a 20-day suspension.
"I'm not sure a 20-day suspension is enough. I believe the city of Atlanta would like to see more," McCalep said.
McCalep said he wants the charges against his client dropped.
"(It's) very difficult to understand how he could be charged with obstruction when it's clear he was the one who was suffering in this situation," he said.
Williams has been booked into jail 14 times since 2014 on a variety of charges, including obstruction and drug charges, but his attorney said his past does not justify what happened during his most recent arrest.
Atlanta police Chief Erika Shields sent a statement which said:
“Policing can be a difficult job, even under the best of circumstances. When an individual chooses to resist arrest, it can be even more difficult, unappealing and sometimes ugly. The Atlanta Police Department is committed to policing in a fair and equitable manner. When incidents such as these are brought to our attention, we have an obligation to review whether the use of force was reasonable by taking numerous factors into consideration. In this case, I believe the manner in which the incident unfolded was avoidable, as the officer was not alone and had appropriate backup, allowing him to take a different approach to the arrest. That being said, having served as a street-level cop, I know from experience that mistakes are made when split second decisions are made. The officer has accepted responsibility for his actions, and will receive a 20-day suspension. Further, the department will examine the practices of the unit as a whole, and ensure that adequate supervision is in place. Additional training will be required of all officers assigned to the zones who work in a plain clothes capacity to ensure that we are operating in a defensible space.”
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