Baltimore, MD – The former Baltimore police officer who was captured on a video mercilessly beating a suspect on Saturday morning has been indicted.
Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced Tuesday that ex-Baltimore Police Officer Arthur Williams would be charged with first- and second-degree assault and misconduct in office, WBAL reported.
A warrant has been issued for Williams’ arrest, Mosby said at a press conference on Aug. 14.
Williams resigned from the Baltimore Police Department on Sunday, just a day after the video of the beating went viral on social media.
The incident occurred at approximately 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, when two Baltimore police officers encountered 26-year-old DeShawn McGrier on an east Baltimore sidewalk, The Washington Post reported.
Officer Williams was familiar with McGrier due to an incident in June that resulted in McGrier being charged with resisting arrest, assaulting an officer, obstructing and hindering, and disorderly conduct, said McGrier’s attorney Warren Brown.
According to police, the most recent incident began after Officer Williams and his unnamed partner stopped McGrier, allowed him to leave, then walked up to him again to provide him with a citizen contact form.
“When he was asked for his identification, the situation escalated when he refused,” the department said, according to The Baltimore Sun. “The police officer then struck the man several times.”
Cellphone footage of the incident began after Officer Williams and McGrier were already in a heated verbal altercation, and did not show the events that precipitated their argument.
“For what?” McGrier angrily screamed at the start of the video, as he stood just inches from the officer’s face.
Officer Williams then pushed McGrier away from him, backing him into a barred window behind McGrier.
“Don’t touch me!” McGrier yelled, as the second officer and a witness partially blocked the beginning of the physical altercation from the camera’s view.
Officer Williams then began delivering several strikes, punching McGrier repeatedly, the video showed.
Officer Williams’ partner appeared to be unsure of what was going on and tried to assist in taking control of McGrier with minimal force.
The pair ultimately fell to the ground on a nearby set of stairs, at which point Officer Williams held McGrier to the ground.
“Let go of my radio,” the officer commanded, as the video ended.
Baltimore Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle immediately suspended now-former Officer Williams and the unnamed second officer in the wake of the incident, and ordered an internal investigation, The Washington Post reported.
“While I have an expectation that officers are out of their cars, on foot, and engaging with citizens, I expect that it will be done professionally and constitutionally,” Commissioner Tuggle said on Saturday. “I have zero tolerance for behavior like I witnessed on the video today. Officers have a responsibility and duty to control their emotions in the most stressful of situations.”
On Sunday night, the department issued a statement confirming that the officer had resigned his position.
“The officer involved in yesterday’s incident is no longer with the BPD. Interim Commissioner Tuggle has accepted his resignation. The second officer remains on administrative duties. This remains an active criminal investigation,” the agency said in a tweet.
Mosby said during the press conference that charges against the second officer were not warranted “in light of his responsibilities at the scene,” The Baltimore Sun reported.
Yesterday, Commissioner Tuggle said that the second officer “had an obligation to keep himself safe” as community members were “approaching that area with sticks in their hand” as the altercation occurred.
Now former-Officer Williams graduated from the Baltimore Police academy in April, and had been with the department since 2017, The Baltimore Sun reported.
You can see the video of the incident here: