McDONOUGH — Former Henry County Police officer David Rose is scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 18 at 9 a.m. before Judge Holly Veal.

On March 19, Rose pleaded not guilty to one misdemeanor charge of simple battery in the Dec. 2, 2017, arrest of former NFL football player Desmond Marrow. Henry County District Attorney Darius Pattillo told the court that he and Rose had supposedly agreed on a plea deal and that the not guilty plea came as a surprise.

Under that deal, Rose would have surrendered his POST certification and taken an anger management class to avoid time behind bars.

However, Rose’s attorney, Lee Sexton, said that Rose did not want to give up his law enforcement career and changed his plea at the last minute.

The county brought the case before a grand jury, which indicted Rose on two counts of violation of his oath as a public officer and one count each of simple battery, false official writings and making a false statement.

Rose and Donaldson allegedly used excessive force to subdue Marrow while responding to a road rage call on Dec. 2, 2017. Marrow has said that two white men threw a cup of hot coffee at his truck and called him a racial epithet.

Video of the arrest shows Marrow telling the officers he’s not resisting, then the officers forcing him to the ground, with Rose grabbing Marrow by the windpipe and Marrow repeating “I can’t breathe” before apparently losing consciousness. Marrow, who pleaded no contest to reckless driving, aggressive driving and obstructing a police officer and nolle prosse to disturbing the peace, has filed a civil suit against Rose, Chief Mark Amerman, Sheriff Keith McBrayer, County Commissioner Chair June Wood, County Manager Cheri Hobson-Matthews, Ofc. Matt Donaldson, and Henry County.

In a patrol car’s dashcam video recording, Rose could be heard saying, “I’m not going to write it down, but hell yeah, I choked that m_____f_____.”

HCPD conducted an internal affairs investigation immediately after the incident. It found the video showed Marrow “actively resisting and failing to comply with the officers’ instructions,” adding that “the officers (Rose and Donaldson) were professional and conducted themselves within policy guidelines.”

After the video went viral, a second internal affairs investigation was conducted, Rose was fired, Donaldson was exonerated, and felony obstruction and terroristic threats charges against Marrow were dropped.

Stay Informed