CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Police in Clayton County subdued a man high on methamphetamine Sunday, but a video is raising questions about one officer's use of force.
Hakim Wright told Channel 2 Action News he's a professional photographer but normally shoots sports, fashion and special events like weddings -- not violent encounters between a suspect and the police.
But that's what he wound up shooting after he spotted a commotion at a strip mall nearby as he was pulling into a Burger King off Tara Boulevard for lunch.
Wright said after he saw the shirtless suspect whip a Clayton County police car with a cable, he elected to leave his camera in his SUV and shoot on his phone.
The video shows the suspect clearly resisted, even after being stunned with a Taser, and the response from police appeared appropriate -- at least until another officer arrived and immediately began kicking him.
"That was the only thing that I saw that was pretty, what I would say, excessive," Wright said. "It wasn’t even warranted at all."
Police said the suspect, identified as Guillermo Mansero, was later tested positive for meth.
"The officer, upon arrival, felt that he could see the offender lifting both the good Samaritan and the previous officer off the ground and was not responding to orders to comply. He felt the need to administer the kicks as a pain compliance measure that proved ineffective," Clayton County police Chief Kevin Roberts said.
Roberts said police had been called after Mansero had allegedly wreaked havoc in a restaurant using electrical-type cable as a whip, damaging property and striking at least one person.
The chief said a good Samaritan jumped in to help the first officer.
"We still need to find out and identify that good Samaritan," Roberts said.
He said the officer who was kicking has a good record. Roberts said the officer was still working the street at the time of our interview and declined to speak with Channel 2 Action News.
Roberts said Mansero faces charges of battery, two counts of battery on a police officer, two counts of simple battery on an officer, interference with government property, criminal damage to property and felony obstruction.
“We’ve expedited our use of force review that we do for all use of force incidents,” Roberts said.
Roberts said he's concerned Mansero may have other victims from his restaurant rampage and he's hoping they'll come forward to Clayton County police.
He said he’s not yet prepared to say whether the kicks were justified, but kicks are allowed under department policy in some circumstances.
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