Mobile, AL — The Mobile police department is conducting damage control this week after one of their officers was recorded by a bystander choking a handcuffed man and slamming him into a patrol car.
Had a bystander not recorded the incident, this officer would still be on patrol. However, it was announced on Wednesday that officer Blake Duke had been placed on desk duty. Officials say Duke “has been taken off patrolling the streets and has been placed on desk duty pending the outcome of the investigation.”
Chief Lawrence Battiste told FOX 10 there will be a thorough investigation and he wants to make sure the public knows this is being taken seriously.
“Our goal is to gather all of the facts and then of course hold those individuals within our department, if there were policy violations, accountable for their behavior,” Battiste said.
The man in the video who was handcuffed behind his back when he was slammed into the cruiser face first before being choked is 53-year-old Howard Green Jr. of Mobile. According to police he had three active warrants for harassing. Additional charges were tacked on while the warrants were being carried out during a traffic stop on Tuesday.
He is currently being held on charges of harassment or harassing communications, having no insurance, running a red light, failure to obey, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
As the video begins, Green is on the ground face down and in handcuffs. Duke is standing over him and appears very angry. He then violently yanks the handcuffed man up from the pavement before shoving him toward the patrol car.
Clearly not happy with the way he is being treated, Green appears to turn toward Duke to voice his anger which then appears to set Duke off. When Duke gets his handcuffed suspect near the patrol car, he shoves his face into the side of the patrol car before placing him in a choke hold from behind.
The bystanders recording the video are shocked.
“Why are you choking him?” a bystander can be heard to say in the video recording.
Green is then stuffed into the car as the video ends.
After the video began to go viral, the chief responded by telling local news that Green may have spit into the officer’s face and that is when it appears Duke pushed Green into the side of a police car and put him into an apparent choke hold.
We cannot see this alleged spitting in the video. Although Green does turn toward Duke before being slammed into the patrol car, he only appears to be yelling. Also, Duke does not wipe his face or react like he has been spit on at all — other than the obvious violence.
What’s more, Green’s charges do not reflect these allegations. Had he actually spit on a cop, he would have likely been charged with assault on a police officer. He faces no such charges.
“He could be the worst criminal in the world, but our job is to make sure that we treat all citizens in this community with dignity and respect in the performance of our duties,” Battiste said.
THE BEGINNING OF POLICE BRUTALITY INCIDENT! FOX10 News FOX 10 Phoenix
Posted by Stephaine Iwillneverfail Alwaysremain on Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Unfortunately, handcuffed suspects are mistreated all the time. As TFTP reported in December, the taxpayers of Hickory, North Carolina found out that they will be shelling out $400,000 after one of their police officers lost his cool and smashed a tiny handcuffed woman into the concrete driveway outside of the jail. Chelsea Doolittle suffered a broken nose and multiple broken teeth as a result of the attack.
“This is a nice early holiday gift that this unfortunate chapter in her life has come to an end, and she just, like you’d expect, is just hoping to move forward,” attorney Brad Smith said after news of the settlement was released.
The incident happened in 2013, but the case is only just now coming to a close after then-Hickory Officer Robert George felt the need to savage abuse a defenseless woman. Luckily for Doolittle, the entire incident was captured on the jail’s surveillance video as she was viciously attacked while handcuffed. You can watch it here.