COVINGTON, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Was it a case of police brutality or otherwise? The Covington Police Department is taking a proactive stand by releasing body cam video of a woman getting arrested after she had called them for help. However, a human rights activist said the line was crossed.
The Covington Police Department got the call for help around 10 a.m. last Thursday. She was asking to have her car unlocked on a stretch of Collier Street in Covington. But when the officer arrived, Captain Ken Malcom, said he saw the woman had pending arrest warrants and she was nowhere near her car.
“When we arrived, there was no caller present which is unusual. We will not unlock a car without the owner of the vehicle there,” said Captain Malcom.
He said when the officer attempted to arrest the woman identified as 26-year-old Beonna Bell, but police said she resisted.
The officer’s body cam video shows the struggle. Captain Malcom said that resulted in Bell losing her grip on her 8-month-old baby boy who fell from her arms but was not injured.
Police said Bell’s loose-fitting pants fell off her during the struggle. But that was not recorded on body cam. Captain Malcom said that’s because by that time the officers' body cam had been knocked off of its position.
“They began falling while she was near her car and as the officer continued to struggle with her in an attempt to handcuff her,” said Captain Malcom.
Gerald Rose with the New Order National Human Rights Organization believes the body cam shows a case of police brutality
“The officer didn’t even try to help her put her clothes on and there is a witness that seen everything,” said Rose.
He told FOX 5 News the incident was a deep source of embarrassment for Bell who ended up partially clad because of the arrest.
Rose said he will hold a news conference Tuesday morning in front of the Covington Police Department to draw attention to the case.
“I gotta go forward because we want to make sure this doesn’t get swept under the rug,” said Rose.
He told FOX 5 News he declined an invitation from the Covington Police Department to view their body cam video of the incident before his news conference. He said he will review it after the news conference.
Captain Malcom said the officer involved remains on the job.
“Looking into the video and talking to those present the officer did not violate policy,” said Captain Malcom.
He said Beonna Bell was booked into jail on two arrest warrants connected to shoplifting and traffic violations.