MARIETTA, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Were they protecting themselves and others in a restaurant or did Marietta police go too far in restraining a man inside an IHOP?
The department has now ordered an internal investigation to determine if the officers' use of force was justified or not.
The man arrested is now behind bars without bond.
It happened early Sunday morning. On the video, a Marietta police officer is seen punching 39-year-old Renardo Lewis as other officers also try to restrain him inside the IHOP on Cobb Parkway near the Big Chicken.
“There was no weapon involved, so why did they call so many officers to take down one man,” said Gerald Rose with the advocacy group the New Order National Human Rights Organization.
Someone at the home of Lewis told FOX 5 News they were talking to their attorney but had nothing else to say.
Rose questions the need for so many officers.
Marietta Police Department Officer Chuck McPhilamy told FOX 5 News an internal investigation has been initiated to determine if the officers acted properly.
“You have an officer who doesn’t know if a suspect is armed. He’s responding to a call that he’s made threats to kill everyone in the business,” McPhilamy said.
He said police responded to a 911 call from an IHOP employee about a customer making threats including a gesture that he had a gun.
He said Lewis and his wife argued with officers which escalated to a tussle between Lewis and several officers.
McPhilamy said officers used only their hands before Lewis has a Taser used on him for about 90 seconds in during the video.
When the Taser didn’t stop him, Lewis McPhilamy said an officer punched him to restrain him to so he could be placed into handcuffs.
“What you have is a show, really a show of great restraint by these officers to not use any additional force,” said Officer McPhilamy.
The 39-year-old owns a restaurant in Marietta and according to police was upset because his wife’s order at IHOP didn’t have bacon.
Marietta Police have initiated an internal investigation and confirm Lewis did not have a weapon.
He was in jail without bond for public drunkenness, obstruction, aggravated assault, and hindering an investigation as of Monday evening.
“Only the force necessary to get him in cuffs was used,” McPhilamy said.
“That’s what they are saying. That’s the proof. I want to see to make sure they are telling the truth,” said Rose.
McPhilamy told FOX 5 News if the investigation allows, Marietta Police will release body cam video to show the full extent of the incident.