ATLANTA — In an Atlanta press conference June 27, attorneys for former NFL player Desmond Marrow accused Henry County leaders of placing public relations over justice.
Attorney L. Chris Stewart read from a statement by an off-duty Homeland Security officer who was at the scene when former Henry County Police officer David Rose grabbed Marrow’s windpipe while Marrow was handcuffed on the ground. The federal officer was black and, according to Stewart, can be seen in video of the incident.
“‘Because he wanted to know why he was being arrested, both officers lifted the subject by both legs, bringing him down on his head,’” Stewart read. “‘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. They didn’t ask me for any (written) statement. The only (written) statements they got were from white people.’”
Stewart said, “He actually gave a statement. This has been in the possession of the county. It wasn’t put in Officer Rose’s police report or Officer Donaldson’s police report, because it would have been a federal officer saying he was using excessive force. That’s what we talk about when we say this is bigger than what happened with Officer Rose.”
Stewart also pointed out the two Internal Affairs reports that came to different conclusions about Rose’s culpability.
“Y’all know we have a civil case going,” Stewart told reporters. “The county manager (Cheri Hobson-Matthews) has no idea how that happened. The president of the Board of Commissioners hasn’t even read these. The rest of the Board of Commissioners will be taking their depositions. I’m sure they’re going to say the same thing.... ‘We just let the chief (then-Chief and current Sheriff Keith McBrayer) do what he wanted to do.’”
Stewart added that Marrow wasn’t “here to gloat. He’s not here to rub it in Officer Rose’s face. People in Henry County and people in this state are just tired of injustices like this happening. But our biggest point has been, it’s not just Officer Rose. How did this happen?”
“It was a history-making day yesterday,” Stewart said. “I believe it’s the first time a Henry County Police officer has been indicted for use of excessive force and lying in an official police report. And it’s justice. That’s simply it.”
Marrow told reporters he is now unable to drive, has nightmares about Rose and involuntarily urinates on himself when he sees a police officer.