Atlanta, GA – An Atlanta police officer has been accused of police brutality for striking and tasing a woman who allegedly bit him in the hand while resisting arrest (video below).
“This is yet another example of police brutality with the City of Atlanta Police Department,” the suspect’s attorney, Gerald Griggs, told WXIA. “No citizen should be brutalized this way over a speeding ticket. The officer should be immediately removed from duty pending investigation.”
The incident occurred on May 1, when an Atlanta police officer patrolling behind an apartment complex spotted a woman sitting inside a silver Infiniti.
Police had been told to keep an eye out for a vehicle matching the description of the car, so the officer walked over to the Infiniti and made contact with 31-year-old Maggie Thomas.
After confirming that Thomas was the owner of the car, the officer told her that the vehicle was uninsured and that she was consequently prohibited from driving it.
Thomas instantly became “agitated,” and demanded to know why he was patrolling behind the complex, and why he was looking at her car, according to the officer’s report.
She allegedly told him that “a white officer should not be harassing her,” and wanted to know if his supervisor was black or white, WGCL reported.
The officer provided Thomas with his supervisor’s contact information, then left the area, WXIA reported.
But after he drove for about a block, he “began to wonder why she became so agitated at my mere presence,” the officer’s report read.
After checking her name in the criminal database, the officer discovered Thomas had an active warrant for her arrest for speeding.
He radioed for another unit, and drove back to the complex.
Thomas was sitting in the Infiniti talking on her cell phone, and her four-year-old daughter was standing on the passenger seat beside her.
Thomas refused to comply with the officer’s request to see her identification, and she would not tell him her name. She continued to talk on the phone, and ignored his order to step out of the vehicle.
The officer was able to place handcuffs on one of her hands, but she was holding her phone and daughter with her other hand.
As a result, he waited for backup to arrive before proceeding with her arrest.
In the meantime, Thomas started honking the car horn with her head, and placed a call to 911.
Nearby residents came outside to see what was going on, including a woman who took Thomas’ daughter and phone.
The officer then took Thomas to the ground, while bystanders began recording the melee.
“You a p---y -ss n----r…You tryin’ to kill me?” the combative woman told the officer, as her child ran around crying and yelling that her mother was going to jail.
The officer tased the screaming woman during the altercation, and was ultimately able to place her into handcuffs.
“Oh my god! I cannot believe this!” Thomas yelled.
“Are you serious? This is a lady!” a bystander chimed in.
Thomas resisted further when the officer tried to place her into his patrol vehicle, WXIA reported.
“I am not getting in your car!” she yelled at him, just before she allegedly bit him in the hand.
The officer immediately struck Thomas in the face, knocking her to the ground, police said.
He and two other officers then placed her into the patrol vehicle.
Thomas has been charged with disorderly conduct physical obstruction, WXIA reported.
Griggs alleged that the officer violated Thomas’ unlawful search and seizure rights under the Fourth Amendment.
He further alleged that Thomas didn’t have a warrant, and that the officer should have simply suspended her license and told her to show up at court.
“You have the right to resist unlawful arrest and [this officer] escalated it further,” Griggs declared.
He said that the officer who claimed Thomas bit him is lying.
"At no point did she bite the police officer. We have all the video image,” Griggs declared. “If someone bites you, you're going to see it. It's going to break the skin.”
"The video shows that he punched her in the face while she was handcuffed,” he added. “There is no need to use that kind of force on someone who is handcuffed."
The officer who Thomas fought with has been placed on paid administrative assignment, Atlanta Police Sergeant John Chafee said in a press release.
“This incident has been referred to our Office of Professional Standards,” Sgt. Chaffee said. “The department is working to gather all of the facts surrounding this incident.”
Griggs said that the officer should lose his badge over the altercation.
"I believe [Thomas] will be completely exonerated and I believe this officer will be held accountable," he told WXIA. "This has to stop ... for a city 'too busy to hate,' it's time to address this issue. It's time for the city to do more, accept responsibility and change its policing processes.”
“Hold these officers accountable,” Griggs demanded. “No more paid leave. It's time for termination."
You can watch cell phone footage of the officer's altercation with Thomas in the video below: