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Former NFL player reaches 'record amount' settlement in lawsuit over violent 2017 arrest

Lawyers for Desmond Marrow said Wednesday he had settled.

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — A former NFL player who was choked during a violent arrest in Henry County in 2017 has settled his lawsuit against the county, his lawyers said Wednesday.

Attorneys for Desmond Marrow said he had reached a "record amount" settlement for a "non-death, officer-involved use of force case in Henry County."

The officer who choked Marrow during the arrest, which occurred at a McDonough shopping center, pleaded guilty to a criminal charge in Sept. 2020. That officer, David Rose, had to give up his law enforcement certification as part of a guilty plea and was placed on 12 months probation, required to take anger management and perform 40 hours of community service.

RELATED: Desmond Marrow, ex-NFL player in Henry Co. police brutality case, speaks of lingering trauma

Back in 2019 Marrow spoke about the ongoing trauma the incident had left him with, including headaches and migraines as well as flashback-like visions of the officer in his sleep.

He said then it had also impacted his ability to find work.

In a release, his lawyers said they were "pleased that Henry County has decided to resolve the case brought by Desmond Marrow and for a record amount for a non-death case."

"Most significantly, the officer who choked Mr. Marrow pleaded guilty to battery, surrendered his law enforcement certification and will never work in law enforcement again - two rare conclusions in use-of-force cases."

Back in 2019, attorney L. Chris Stewart painted Henry County's internal investigation as an attempted cover-up that only failed because of the attention Marrow could command as a former football player.

He said the Henry County Police Department produced two different internal reports based on the same materials – one that said Rose was “polite and courteous” immediately after the incident, and another that said he used excessive force once the case gained media attention.

The lawyer also revealed at that time a federal border officer had happened to be present at the scene, and provided a statement. 

“Because he wanted to know why he was suddenly being arrested, both officers lifted the subject by both legs, bringing him down on his head," the border officer said, according to attorneys. "I was so shocked to see that happen. Never in my life have I seen this happen, only on TV. It was sad to see this happen."

Marrow, who starred at the University of Toledo and then spent time during the preseason on the roster of two different NFL teams, said in 2019 it would be hard to understand what he's going through.

“As far as physically, I get just like excruciating headaches, migraines - a toothache and a headache at the same time is like a pain I wouldn’t wish on nobody. I gotta go through that," he said. “I see Officer Rose, he lay with me often at night, just, he’ll be in my room. I see him. So, it’s like I’ve learned to forgive him, but he’s always there. The nightmares, the traumatic - the flashbacks.”