ATLANTA — Outrage is growing over a video that appears to show a Georgia State Patrol trooper stomping on a suspect after a chase.
The incident happened Sunday and video of it was posted on Instagram. That video has already been viewed more than 80,000 times.
GSP said it started as a traffic stop after a trooper noticed a man driving on along the downtown connector not wearing his seatbelt.
Troopers said the suspect, identified as Jamarco Lucas, 27, got off the interstate at Edgewood Avenue, got out of his car and ran away.
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Trooper chased Lucas down to an apartment complex along Edgewood Avenue where the trooper said he saw a gun fall out of Lucas’ waistband.
GSP said the trooper fired his Taser twice at Lucas, hitting him once. He also gave him verbal commands.
Because the trooper was unaware if Lucas was still armed, GSP said the trooper applied what’s called a foot strike.
“You have someone on the ground already, there’s no need to stomp on them,” said local activist Scotty Smart.
Smart told Channel 2′s Ashli Lincoln that if this is an approved technique by GSP, they have concerns.
“I think that’s a clear case of excessive force. We have someone on the ground already. There’s no need to stomp on him. You could easily apprehend the suspect by simply placing handcuffs on him. Stomping on him two or three times looks like an emotional reaction,” Smart said.
Lucas is currently on probation for assault and has an active warrant for his arrest in Rockdale County for simple battery.
Lucas was eventually arrested. He has been charged with fleeing or attempting to elude, obstruction of a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm with an altered serial number, reckless driving, speeding, improper lane change, failure to obey a traffic control device, driving while unlicensed and no seatbelt.
The Georgia Department of Public Safety’s Use of Force Policy states that officers are allowed to use physical strength to control a suspect. A foot strike is listed as one of the defense tactics officers are trained to use in many law enforcement training guides.
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