A white Georgia police officer is on desk duty after a video featuring him using a stun gun on a black woman during an arrest showed up on the internet and went viral.
What are the details?
Gwinnett County Police Officer Michael Oxford is on administrative duty pending an internal investigation into the incident, which took place at an unnamed woman’s home Tuesday.
Oxford responded to a woman’s home following a property damage call in which the woman said a group of people pelted her vehicle with a bottle. The woman also alleged that at least one person in the group threatened to assault her 9-year-old child.
A spokesperson for the department said that Oxford approached a group of women sitting on the porch of a nearby residence. Kyndesia Smith was one of those women and reportedly matched the description of one of suspects in the woman’s complaint.
According to WSB-TV, Oxford approached the group of women and attempted to question them about the report. The station reported that Smith became combative and refused to respond to his line of questioning.
Video later shows Oxford approaching Smith, who defiantly says, “You’re on our property. We did not call you.”
Oxford responds by asking Smith, “Do you want to go to jail?”
Smith insists that she won’t be going anywhere.
Her defiance apparently prompted Oxford to tell the woman that she is under arrest, and as he moves to take her into custody, she fights back and tries to move away.
Oxford pulls her out from behind a chair, and demands she get down on the ground as he begins to pull out his Taser.
In the background, you can hear a female shouting, “Black lives matter! Black lives matter!”
He deploys the Taser moments later, and Smith can be seen falling into some nearby bushes on the property.
Image source: Twitter video screenshot
Oxford approaches Smith, who is now sitting on the ground, and demands she put her hands behind her back.
He cautions that if she refuses, he will use the stun gun on her once more.
Oxford attempts to handcuff Smith, but she continues to resist, demanding that he let her go.
The video ends seconds later.
A second video of the incident, obtained by WSB-TV, appears to show Smith kicking at Oxford as he tries to force her into the back of his cruiser.
(Content warning: Rough language):
What else do we know?
A news release Tuesday from the Gwinnett County Police Department provided further context on the arrest.
“When [Oxford] arrived, he was informed by the complainant that two people had thrown a bottle at her car. She also said the people threatened to assault her and beat her 9 year old child,” a portion of the release said.
The release noted that there is surveillance footage of the bottle-throwing incident.
Oxford was able to view the surveillance footage and reportedly recognized Smith as the same person in the surveillance video.
He then reportedly attempted to approach Smith, who was on the nearby porch, but she reportedly began shouting at him instead.
“After she resisted the officer’s commands [she was] tased and placed in handcuffs,” the release said. “After she was placed in handcuffs, she kicked the officer and continued to be uncooperative.”
So where does it stand now?
Oxford remains on administrative duty, while Smith has been charged with felony obstruction and simple battery against a police officer. She was released Wednesday after posting bond.
In a statement, the Gwinnett County Police Department said, “An investigation into this incident is being conducted. The officer has been placed in an administrative role pending the outcome of the internal investigation.”
You can watch a full video of the incident here.
And what is social media saying about this?
A simple Twitter search will render varying results ranging from doxxing attempts on the officer to a circulation of false reports.
One user writes, “A Gwinnett County, Ga. officer is under fire after arresting a woman for ‘TALKING TO [sic] LOUD’ on her own front porch.”
Another user adds, “Just another ‘CRACKER COP.’ This is disgraceful. The southerners who continue to treat black Americans this way are dinosaurs & need to go extinct.”