Georgia officer fired days after tasing Black woman during home arrest

Gwinnett County police defend Michael Oxford's use of force, but say the former officer violated "courtesy" core values in the viral incident

A police officer is shown arresting a woman in Georgia in August 2020. (Credit: jaythegoat3476/TikTok)

A Georgia police officer lost his job Friday days after he used excessive force during the arrest of a Black woman in a scene captured on a viral video.

The Gwinnett County Police Department announced the firing of Michael Oxford, who can be seen tasing 22-year-old Kyndesia Smith while attempting to detain her on her mother’s porch in an Atlanta suburb.

The incident was captured on cellphone and posted to TikTok, where it has been viewed tens of millions of times as of Saturday morning.

As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Oxford was responding to a complaint Tuesday over property damage at a home Loganville, a city dozens of miles northeast of Atlanta.

READ MORE: Georgia State Patrol trooper arrested for murder after shooting Black man during traffic stop

The officer identified a woman, Aytra Thomas, at a home across the street from the complaint that matched the description of the complaining party, per home surveillance footage.

While attempting to question Thomas, a group of women began yelling at Oxford. Among them was Smith, Thomas’ daughter. According to the police report, Oxford ordered Smith to stop shouting and threatened to arrest her on obstruction of justice.

Oxford then asked Smith to leave. When she refused his demand, Oxford then attempted to grab and forcefully arrest the woman, who evaded his grasp and was being shielded by Thomas. That’s when Oxford pulled out and shot his Taser at Smith, causing her to fall into bushes.

Smith was released on $5,900 bail.

READ MORE: Georgia officer on leave for tasing, arresting Black woman who yelled at him

Thomas told WSB-TV that Oxford’s actions toward her daughter were excessive and caused unnecessary damage.

“Her side where the Taser went in is messed up,” Thomas stated. “Her neck, her back, my shoulder. It ain’t have to go that way.”

The TikTok video went viral, garnering over 20 million views on the video platform. Oxford was placed on administrative leave on Thursday as the department completed an internal investigation. He was let go one day later.

Gwinnett County police issued a statement, saying although Oxford had “probable cause to arrest Smith for Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer and that the subsequent use of force was within policy,” he was fired for violating the department’s “courtesy” core values.

“Our policy states that each member of this department shall consider it his or her duty to be of service to the general public and to render that service in a kind, considerate, and patient manner,” read the statement.

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