New Orleans, LA – Cell phone footage captured a vicious brawl between a Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) police officer and a convicted felon who became upset after the officer asked him to move his vehicle (video below).
The violent altercation occurred at the intersection of Bienville Street and Crozat Street on Sept. 17, The Times-Picayune reported.
According to court records, the unnamed officer was sitting in his patrol vehicle in the 200-block of Marais Street, when he spotted a vehicle blocking a fire hydrant.
The officer made contact with the driver, 41-year-old convicted felon Darrell Bush, and asked him to move his vehicle, The Times-Picayune reported.
But in stead of complying with his request, Bush became “argumentative,” according to court documents.
It’s unclear how that situation ended.
Sometime later, the same officer was speaking to a group of individuals who were allegedly trespassing at an apartment complex when Bush suddenly showed up and interrupted them, The Times-Picayune reported.
According to court documents, Bush invaded the officer’s “personal space,” and refused to comply with the officer’s commands to back away.
As the officer prepared to handcuff the argumentative suspect, Bush suddenly began punching him repeatedly in the face, the officer said.
Cell phone footage showed the officer tumbling to the ground as Bush violently knocked him back onto the pavement several times.
The officer’s uniformed partner appeared to stand idly by as the brawl ensued.
“Don’t play with me!” Bush yelled at the officer as he got back onto his feet and followed Bush down the sidewalk.
Bush walked out into the street and stripped off his jacket as a rowdy crowd of onlookers flocked to the scene.
A moment later, the officer deployed his Taser, which sent the felon falling to the ground in a fit of screams, the video showed.
Bush was taken into custody before he was transported to University Medical Center, where he refused treatment, The Times-Picayune reported.
He later allegedly told police that he had gone to the neighborhood “to purchase marijuana,” according to court records.
Bush was booked into jail on charges of resisting an officer by force, battery of an officer, and simple criminal damage to property, The Times-Picayune reported.
The officer suffered bruising and a cut above his eye, and his uniform pants were also torn during the brawl, according to court documents.
Bush was previously convicted of drug possession and illegally carrying a weapon, and was serving a three-year probation sentence at the time of the altercation, The Times-Picayune reported.
Prosecutors said they plan to ask the court to revoke his probation sentence, which could result in him going to prison for five years.
But Bush’s attorney, John Fuller, claimed that the officer was the one at fault for causing the brawl.
According to Fuller, Bush was “minding his own business, hanging out with friends,” when the officer approached him “for no apparent reason” and called the suspect’s mother a “ho,” The Times-Picayune reported.
“That same officer, for no apparent reason, made physical contact with my client prior to the fight ensuing,” Fuller alleged. “I applaud my client for exercising great discretion, for if the officer had called my mother such a name, he wouldn’t have had an opportunity to attack me first.”
Fuller said that Bush simply acted in self-defense, and claimed that he has a longer video that captured what transpired prior to the physical altercation.
"I think there's some embarrassment on the part of the officer because my client obviously got the best of him, if you saw the video," the defense attorney boasted to WWL. "But there was nothing that my client did that was illegal."
Bush was released on bond during his court hearing the day after the attack, WWL reported.
The HANO refused to comment on the video, according to WWL.
“This is an internal personnel matter that we are taking seriously and will be addressed appropriately,” the housing authority said.
You can watch footage of the officer’s encounter with Bush in the video below: