A police officer in Georgia has been arrested and fired after video emerged of him hitting a non-threatening, unarmed student repeatedly, including in the head, with a baton because he refused to comply with demands.
Athens-Clarke County police fired officer Jonathan Fraser, and arrested him, after body cam footage revealed he used excessive force for no good reason against 19-year-old University of Georgia student Michael Roquet.
The body cam footage shows that Roquet was drunk, but posed no threat to Fraser, nor did he resist arrest.
Fraser had claimed in his report that Roquet “struck [him] with his left elbow in [his] chest,” and then “hit [him] again with his elbow.] The cop claimed that he responded by “striking [the man with a baton] in the leg and upper body” and then handcuffed him.
The video shows, however, that Fraser struck the student nine times, including once in the head and twice in the back while he was on the ground.
The officer omitted the fact that he had hit Roquet in the head, then when investigators confronted him on it, Fraser “denied striking [him] in the head with the baton” and tried to “mislead investigators” regarding the incident.
Striking anyone in the head with a baton is considered to be potentially deadly force, and the officer also failed to notify any medical personnel that he had hit the suspect in the head – a violation of Athens-Clarke County police policy.
“[Roquet was] not resisting at that point [when] he is on the ground,” Police Chief Scott Freeman said. “That is unauthorized use of force, absolutely. And that is something that is completely intolerable, and something we’re not going to put up with, and we dealt with it appropriately.”
“Fraser had several opportunities to de-escalate his encounter with the drunk 19 year old, but instead he escalated it needlessly.” Freeman added.
Investigators also found that Fraser “used hard control strikes from an impact weapon… on an individual who was actively resistant, but was not assaultive… more force than necessary.”
“[What he did] does damage to the reputation of law officers, not only in this community, but across the nation,” the police chief added, noting “We see it time and time again.”
Fraser has been charged with aggravated assault and violation of oath by a public officer. He was released from jail on a $30,000 bond last week.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.