Griffin Police: Officer did not use excessive force

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After a review, the city of Griffin Police Department determined that the officer shown in a viral Facebook video did not use excessive force against a driver.

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Several FOX 5 Atlanta viewers shared the video and raised questions about the officer's actions. The clip shows the officer pin the man, later identified as Joshua McDowell, 32, against his vehicle and threaten to use a Taser on him.  A passenger in the truck recorded parts of McDowell's arrest. 

"I started getting messages and Facebook posts with the video of what happened," said Quantas Terrell, McDowell's fiancée.  "My heart dropped. My heart literally dropped because I didn't know what they were going to do to him." 


According to the Griffin Police Department, the officer witnessed McDowell complete a drug transaction and tried to pull him over.

"The officer knew Joshua McDowell by face and name, knew he had a history of taking flight and knew that he had multiple arrests for drug offenses," the police department said in a statement.  "McDowell initially complied.  However, during the placement of handcuffs on McDowell, he began to resist and attempted to flee."

But the woman who was in the vehicle and shot the video disputes the police account.

Shakera Davis told FOX 5 McDowell complied with the officer's order to get out of the vehicle.

Davis claims the officer's bodycam fell off of him when she says the officer slammed McDowell into the vehicle.

She added the incident terrified her, and she plans to file a complaint about the officer's actions.

Terrell said McDowell was still healing from a broken shoulder and could not put his hand completely behind his back.  She still questions the officer's use of force.

"So I felt like it wasn't necessary for you to do all that, to throw him into the car -- to the door -- when you asked him to put his hands behind his back and he told you that he couldn't because his hand and shoulder was broke," said Terrell.  "Honestly, I hope they get rid of those officers because this shouldn't have to happen to anyone."


Police officials, however, said the officer was justified and released body camera video of the traffic stop.

"The officers used the required amount of force reasonable to detain him even though a greater amount of force would have been authorized under the circumstances, such as a Taser or electronic control device," the statement said. 

McDowell was arrested and charged with obstruction of officers as well as possession of marijuana and ecstasy.