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Distorting a Video; Distorting Reality: Atlanta Woman Claims Cops Attacked Her

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Everything is racist and that which can be characterized as racist has no bounds. A post on www.toddstarnes.com is titled Atlanta Woman Claims Cops Attacked Her — But Bodycam Footage Tells the Rest of the Story. For several reasons, the content of the article is complex.

The Starnes post begins by claiming a video that allegedly showed Atlanta police officers manhandling a black woman in an affluent park has gone viral. The reaction to the video was as swift as it was formulaic and predictable. “Hollywood stars and professional race agitators accused the black officers of racism.” That’s quite a claim: black officers allegedly manhandling a black woman is illustrative of racism. Starnes continues: “But it turns out — there’s more to the story.”

Starnes asserts the circulated video was “heavily-edited,” and that what “has gone viral on social media only shows a portion of the incident.” The assertion is made that “Had the woman only complied with the reasonable requests of the officers, she would not have been arrested.”

The Atlanta Police Department released a full hour of bodycam footage that shows the entire incident – from start to finish. See full unedited video about an hour in length embedded in the article. The Atlanta Police Department went to great lengths to describe exactly what happened.

Starnes posted a summary of the incident with information gleaned from the police report and video footage. It is important to look at the footage in its entirety to better understand the entire incident from Body Worn Camera footage from this incident.

The summary is worth reading in its entirety. What follows is a summary of Starnes’ summary. 1. The Atlanta Police Department made efforts to ensure safety in city parks in response to concerns after the August 2, 2022, homicide in Wilson Mill Park and August 7, 2022, homicide at Rosa L. Burney Park. Atlanta Police Officers have increased patrols inside city parks.

2. The officer in this incident conducted patrol inside Shady Valley Park at 2700 Shady Valley Drive in Northeast, Atlanta on August 8, 2022, at around 11:50 PM. The park closed at 11:00 PM. During his patrol, the officer encountered two people inside the park and attempted to issue both a citation for the violation.

3. The general protocol is for officers to issue a copy of charges and release the individual once they have signed the ticket. Signing the ticket is not an admission of guilt but an acknowledgment of receipt of the citation and of the person’s obligation to appear in court or pay a fine. Refusing to sign a citation is considered reasonable cause to believe the individual will not appear in court or pay the fine and the officer may then physically arrest the individual so they can be brought before the court to post bond.

4. The officer explained to the male that he would be taken to jail if he refused to sign the citation. The male chose to sign the citation. The female was given the same information and refused to sign the citation. She demanded to receive the officer’s badge number, which the officer had provided.

5. The officer explained what would happen if either party refused to sign the ticket. The officer tried to place the female in handcuffs after she refused to sign the summons. She began to actively resist. This resulted in a physical altercation as the officer attempted to place her into custody.

The body-worn camera footage shows the officer repeatedly asked the female to comply by placing her hands behind her back and the footage shows she refuses each time. The officer requested assistance and another officer arrived on the scene and the female was then placed into handcuffs. The officer was wearing a mask and rubber gloves in an effort to keep himself safe from communicable viruses or diseases and was authorized to do so.

The Atlanta Police Department provided this statement: “In the end, this incident began as an effort to address issues in our city parks. The officer clearly intended to issue a citation to each party and allow them to leave the park. Several unnecessary decisions, that were entirely out of our control, resulted in a physical altercation with an officer and the physical arrest of this individual.”

Inflammatory issues arise, such as why someone chose to edit the video with the intent to impugn the police and exonerate an unreasonable antagonist, and why certain kinds of people find it advantageous to label as racist black police officers justifiably arresting a black woman. How the behavior of the dishonest video editor or the race-baiting class leads to a more equitable and just world is difficult to discern.

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