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A church full of supporters and family members assembled on Monday for a rally in Henry County Georgia after a video of the brutal beating of ex-NFL player Desmond Marrow by Georgia police went viral.
A legal team has taken up the case within the last three days since the shocking video was posted. The rally at Tabernacle of Praise Church International, where Marrow is a member, was called to put the pressure on the Henry County police department to fire the two officers involved. The incident happened last December but only one officer has been put on administrative leave.
Marrow’s Attorney Andrea Boyd also said they are calling for the department to enact policing reform policies to prevent another vicious beating of a Black man at the hands of police.
Flanked by faith leaders, his attorneys Boyd and Chris Stewart, and close family members including his mom and dad, Marrow was still visibly shaken by the incident and said he has lost everything since the ordeal.
“Going through that tough time, it was five months. I lost everything. I lost my gym, I lost my clients, I lost my wife,” he said.
“I can’t see my son and I had to be quiet because I had four felonies,” he said about being charged. “Nobody knew I had the felonies, nobody knew what was going on.”
Since December, Marrow said he hasn’t gotten justice and finally decided to post the video last week.
“How does a young man who is a victim of a hate crime become the victim of police brutality?” Desmond Marrow’s attorney Andrea Boyd asked.
She told the audience that Marrow was driving down Jonesboro Road in McDonough Georgia in a truck with Ohio license plates.
Two white men in truck, she said, pulled up alongside him and started yelling out racial slurs.
“Go back to Ohio you f****** n*****. We don’t need you n****** in Georgia” Boyd said.
Boyd said Marrow ignored the motorist until they threw a cup of coffee at his vehicle, which hit the side of his window and splashed onto his clothes.
Marrow followed the vehicle as the driver tried to speed off ending up in a Target parking lot. She doesn’t deny that Marrow was upset but he didn’t threaten to kill the motorists as they have claimed.
“Desmond took off after the vehicle that took off and took out his cell phone and try to record the license plate number,” she said. “Bystanders said that Marrow had a gun, but she maintains it was his cell phone.
“He didn’t say I will shoot you.”
The bystander said Marrow was erratic and out of control. Boyd countered: “How many of us will have probably been dropping some f-bombs?”
She continued: “From the eyewitness account police just assumed that Desmond had a gun. Then they handcuffed him and searched his vehicle. But Desmond didn’t have anything to hide,” she said.
While he’s in handcuffs then they said, “Where is the gun, boy,” Boyd explained.
“That’s when Desmond knew he was in trouble.”
She said he responded: “You can search this vehicle all you want. You can search this vehicle for another 30 minutes. I don’t have a gun. All I have is a cell phone.”
Boyd said that’s when the video turns on
“He then gets picked up by police, you see them walking him toward the vehicle you don’t see any resistance. You don’t see Desmond head-butting you don’t see Desmond trying to kick. And the next thing you see is Desmond being flipped, with a leg sweep, knocked to the ground, screaming for his life and choked until he’s unconscious. That’s unconscionable,” Boyd said.
“But it’s happening over and over and over again. Not in our county not again.”
Marrow was charged with two counts of terrorist threats, obstructing a police officer, reckless driving. The two terrorist threat charges were dismissed against Marrow but there are two criminal charges pending.
“We don’t understand that the eyewitness said he saw two cars driving erratically. Two cars going in and out of lanes. Why is there only one person charged with reckless driving,” Boy said.
Outside of fighting to beat Marrow’s criminal charges the attorneys said they plan to sue in civil court because Marrow has “lost a lot” and suffered damages. “This man has to rebuild his entire life after this.”
The attorneys are demanding a mediation to resolve the case and to discuss measure to ensure better policing in the future.
“This case changes the course of Henry county. Who wants to live in this county and be afraid to drive to Walmart.”
Boyd is calling for a meeting with county officials and says they want a community review panel and to also have a sit down to discuss how to effectively gel police force with the community.
Stewart says that they also demanding criminal justice reform and wants the county to enact President Obama’s 21st Century Policy Initiatives calling for Georgia police force to implement the principles and protocols Obama called for.
Stewart also pointed out the police report which gives a different accounting of what happened with marrow and the two officers. He said the officers lied and because of the inaccuracies and Marrow’s treatment, they are calling for them to be fired.
Marrow still has a fight ahead but he says he’s thankful that the ordeal didn’t end with his life lost.
“The main thing I want to say is…often you see this on TV and you see this happening, but those victims, they’re usually dead. So I’m very thankful I’m alive.”