A Maryland police officer believed to have shot one of the viral videos that showed former NBA player Delonte West sitting on a curb handcuffed and shirtless, has been suspended from the Prince George’s County Police force.
After a police investigation into the video, Prince Georges Police Chief Hank Stawinski said it was determined that an officer, whom he didn’t name, shot it and posted it to social media. Stawinski said he was “troubled” by the incident, according to CBS News.
“It’s irresponsible for that (video) taken by a Prince George’s County police officer to be in the public’s hands,” Stawinski said at a press conference.
Police responded to a call about a fight near the MGM National Harbor casino and when officers arrived, they saw a man bleeding from the face and “made the decision to handcuff” West, according to Stawinski. West and the other man knew each other and police determined they had been arguing before it turned violent. Both men refused medical treatment, police said.
“They both refused to press charges against each other and refused to cooperate with detectives. No weapons were recovered,” police said, according to CBS News.
In the video, West is being questioned by police about the altercation and went off on an indecipherable rant, telling police he was approached by someone wielding a gun as he walked down the street. But when police pushed him for more detail about the incident, he becomes belligerent and is heard saying “I don’t give a f–k” twice before continuing his rant.
The viral video caught the attention of West’s former college coach, Phil Martelli, who coached West and Jameer Nelson for several years at Saint Joseph’s before West left for the NBA. Martelli took to Twitter to post a compassionate note about watching West spiral, reported ESPN.
“Over the past several hours I have talked with many who are willing to help – please read and embrace Jameer’s wisdom – we are reaching out to our basketball network to get the professional help Delonte needs. This is so very painful,” Martelli tweeted.
Over the past several hours I have talked with many who are willing to help – please read and embrace Jameer’s wisdom – we are reaching out to our basketball network to get the professional help Delonte needs. This is so very painful. https://t.co/8IAuTdzCc9
— Phil Martelli (@PhilMartelli) January 21, 2020
West, 36, played eight seasons in the NBA, including several seasons with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He also played for the Boston Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics and Dallas Mavericks.