The scars that former football player Desmond Marrow suffered from a violent police arrest in McDonough, Georgia were also psychological, the athlete told NewsOne. For months after the December arrest, he cringed and felt his heart racing whenever he saw a police vehicle pull up next to him on roadways.
Part of what Marrow experienced sounds similar to symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. But he also feared police harassment because authorities knew he was in possession of a graphic video that showed the vicious arrest. Though the incident happened in December, the video was not released on social media until April.
“People were trying to get me to sell the video,” he said about the footage recorded by a bystander. “I wanted to wait it out and do it the right way, and weather it out. I was going up against the county, and they knew I had a copy of the video.”
The video hit social media on Thursday and quickly went viral. The footage shows officers sweeping Marrow’s legs to forcefully take him down while he’s handcuffed. The former football player cried out that he couldn’t breathe when one of the cops put his hand on Marrow’s throat.
A hate crime led to the arrest, said Andrea Boyd, one of Marrow’s attorneys. Two White men, in a road rage incident, called Marrow, 30, the N-word and threw a cup of hot coffee in his car. Marrow followed the vehicle to get the license plate number. The athlete continued the pursuit into a shopping center parking lot with the intention of speaking to the men.
Scott Davis, one of the men in the other vehicle, claimed that he and his passenger were the victims. He alleged that Marrow began riding his bumper and cursed at him and his friend, Davis told the Associated Press. Davis called the cops and told them that Marrow threatened to shoot them. However, police did not find a weapon on Marrow after the arrest.
“A random guy recorded the video,” Marrow told NewsOne. “I was handcuffed in the police vehicle, coming in and out of consciousness. And I asked the guy to send me the video.”
The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers player is a spiritual person. “I’m close to God. I received a clear sign from God when it was time to release the video,” he added.
Officials have had a copy of the video since the incident happened, Chris Stewart, Marrow’s lawyer told NewsOne. “They were hoping it would blow over,” he suspects.
Stewart hesitates to label these violent police encounters a racist incident until there’s enough evidence to make that judgment. He previously represented Walter Scott‘s family in the South Carolina, the Black man who was shot in the back and killed by a White officer. Stewart is convinced that race is a factor in Marrow’s arrest.
The officer called Marrow “boy” when he encountered the athlete, the lawyer said. He also described Marrow in racist terms in the police report when referring to the athlete’s strength during the encounter.
Marrow was charged originally with terroristic threats, a felony charge, as well as misdemeanor charges of aggressive driving and reckless driving. He would later be charged with felony obstruction of law enforcement officers.
While the charge of terroristic threats was dropped, the remaining charges are still under investigation in the Henry County District Attorney’s Office.
Stewart wants authorities to drop all charges and fire the arresting officers. “A lawsuit is coming if they don’t come to the table,” he stated. “We’re hoping they do the right thing.”