Duluth, GA — Duluth Police Spokesperson Ted Sadowski would have the public believe Chiedu Amahagwu fought one of his deputies. He even used the word “fight” at least four times when speaking to reporters. But what he did not come out and say was, “We tased the wrong guy.”
The incident unfolded last month when Duluth police responded to an area Walmart to help apprehend a jewelry thief. Sadowski claims loss prevention staff at the store even pointed out Amahagwu. But when the deputy confronted Amahagwu, he was completely unwilling to speak with police, even latching onto a pole in an effort not to be taken to the ground.
The terrified man struggled to get free from the armed aggressor who was attempting to kidnap him and managed to get into the parking lot in an attempt to run away. But that’s when the officer decided to taser Amahagwu. After getting scared, shocked, and kidnapped, Walmart staff told police they had tasered the wrong guy. He wasn’t the shoplifter after all.
Cue the spin machine. First, Duluth blamed Walmart staff for pointing out the wrong guy. Then, they blamed the victim (something we see daily in police accountability reporting). They tried to say Amahagwu was seen throwing punches at the officer. We’ve reviewed the arrest video several times and we cannot see at any point in the video that the man takes a swing at a cop. He did, however, attempt to flee after he feared for his life.
In a likely attempt to justify their brutal mistake, Duluth police, instead of charging an actual thief with theft, they charged an innocent man they scared, tasered, and kidnapped with “obstruction of justice.” Like we’ve stated before, obstruction charges come when the police cannot charge someone with an actual crime. For Amahagwu not to have a felony on his record, he must now get a good lawyer, spend thousands of dollars, endure even more stress, all for a mistake the police made.
Most likely, the charges will be dropped and if he’s smart, he and his lawyer will sue the department for a federal civil rights violation of his 4th and 14th Amendment rights. He’ll then likely win a settlement — the bill of which will be taken care of by taxpayers.
What should have happened during this incident was the police should have apologized to the man, given him the name of a good attorney so he could go ahead and sue them, and offer to replace any of his clothing they may have destroyed. Instead, they blamed the victim, charged him with felonies, forever altering the path of his life.
Our 5th Amendment rights protect us from being forced to speak to the police. Because Duluth police mistook him for a suspect, when Amahagwu attempted to exercise the right to remain silent and be on his way, he was violently detained, tasered, and kidnapped. Worse still, his image, his family, and his reputation has now been called into question by way of a complicit news media which seems to take the word of the police as gospel truth.
See for yourself in the video below. Does Amahagwu throw any punches? Does he charge the police or does it appear as though he’s attempting to simply get away from a badge-wearing attacker?
Just before we were about to publish this story we realized there was much more to it. Instead of letting Amahagwu go, admitting they scared, tasered, and arrested the wrong guy, they threw him in jail where he spent the next 18 days. His defense attorney said he had a “constitutional right” to defend himself against what he called an “unlawful arrest.” Don Geary, Amahagwu’s lawyer, said:
It could be anybody, anytime, anywhere…I don’t see how they prosecute, but that doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t.
After spending more than two weeks in jail for resisting an unlawful arrest, when Amahagwu went to court, prosecutors seemed to have a change of mind in prosecuting him. They let him sign his own $0 bond to get out of jail and leave court.
Sadowski is unrepentant. He told reporters:
(It’s) unfortunate the wrong guy was identified, but you can’t fight with police…He could have easily just stopped, talked to the officer. We figure out you’re not the suspect, and on you go. But at this point, he turned on the officer.
Amahagwu’s story isn’t over by any means. They can decide to prosecute him at any time unless they make the official decision not to prosecute. We will keep you abreast of any updates as we receive them.