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Carrollton Police release bodycam after video showing officer hitting man during arrest circulates online, stirring debate

The UWG NAACP tweeted "It's 4 officers trying to apprehend this man. Why is there an officer punching this man in the back? When will enough be enough."

CARROLLTON, Ga. — A video showing Carrollton Police officers hitting a man who was involved in a fight is circulating online. 

It's also grabbed the attention of the University of West Georgia chapter of the NAACP.

In the video posted on Twitter, it appears that one officer hits the man - identified in a police report as Timothy McClain - twice. Another officer appears to hit McClain three times.

The UWG NAACP tweeted "It's 4 officers trying to apprehend this man. Why is there an officer punching this man in the back? When will enough be enough."

11Alive reached out to the Carrollton Police Department to find out what happened. They released the police report and bodycam videos from three different views.

The incident happened around 1:45 in the morning Nov. 17 at the Adamson Square near the Irish Broad Pub & Grill. 

The reporting officer named in the police report, William Awalt, said there was a large crowed gathered outside, which is apparently typical for that time of morning on the weekends, as the bars shut down for the night.

"In the past, this has been a known time when fights, brawls, and riots occur," the report says. There were about 150 to 200 people outside near the Pub.

In one of the bodycam videos, police can be heard telling the crowd to disperse: "Everybody, go home."

"We're trying to clear this crowd before we have a big giant fight or a riot," one officer says. But just moments later, that's apparently exactly what happened. 

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From the point of view of one officer, you can see other cops already responding to the situation.

The police report explained what happened.

The report said there were three people on top of each other fighting, and officers gave them commands to stop. The police report reveals that McClain tackled a man - reportedly his friend - and a third person jumped in to try to break it up. 

Officers ran over in an attempt to do the same. The reporting officer said in the report he ended up on McClain's back. Police said they told the men to give them their hands. One reportedly complied; the report claims McClain did not.

"I then quickly attempted to take control of McClain’s left arm. I gave McClain loud verbal commands to show me his hands. McClain did not comply," the officer's report said. He added that McClain was still holding onto the man.

The officer said in the report that once McClain didn't comply with his verbal commands, that's when he hit him. 

"I delivered three closed fist hammer strikes to the back of McClain’s head," the officer said in the report.

The police report narrative said that's when McClain let go of the other man. The officer said he was then able to take McClain's arm from around the other man. 

"I then placed his left arm in an armbar, to prevent him from pulling away again. Officer Montgomery was then able to place McClain into handcuffs," the report reads. 

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From the social media video, you see an officer who hits McClain twice and another who hits him three times. 

But from the view of his bodycam you can't see clearly what's happening during the fight because of all of the commotion. Another angle shows a portion of the arrest attempt, in which you see the officer who hits McClain twice; it's hard to see the officer who hits him three times. 

And in the third video police released, you can see officers holding down two men on the ground. That video also shows more of the crowd's reaction to what happened. You can hear yelling and screaming.

"The large crowd became hostile towards police by screaming and yelling profanity," the report reads. Officers walked around the Square and asked the crowd to leave.

"After the crowd had dispersed, I spoke with other Officers on what had occurred," the report reads. 

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You can hear the officer admitting on camera to hitting McClain. 

"I used force, I hit him on in the back of the head three times," he said. 

Officers at the scene talked to witnesses who told them McClain allegedly kept bothering his friend inside of the Pub. When they went outside, that's when the fight happened. Officers said they saw McClain tackle the man to the ground. 

The report said the friend told officers he didn't want to pursue charges against McClain. Officers took McClain into custody for obstruction and disorderly conduct.

11Alive reached out to the Carrollton Police Department for more on whether the officers involved in the situation will be disciplined.


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