Two Dekalb County police officers have been charged with beating a suspect and violating their oaths. They were caught by one of their own, who nobly reported them right away. While we often hear stories of police officers sticking together no matter how questionable the acts of one are, this is a story of one officer doing the right thing.
Officers Arthur Parker and Black Andrew Norwood were to take 18 year old Travarrius Williams to the county jail. Williams was arrested last week for burglary in south DeKalb. During the transport, Williams spit in the officers’ faces, apparently enraging them.
They drove Williams in their squad car and parked behind a garage at the South Precinct on Candler Road. When they were where no one could see them, they began beating him. The officers are accused of punching and kicking him before they were found.
A “fellow patrol officer” whose name is not being released, happened upon the scene when he heard the scuffle and thought someone might be in danger. He immediately reported it to his commander.
In the world of law enforcement, there’s something called the “Blue Wall” or the “Blue Code of Silence”. The term refers to an unspoken code between officers that they won’t snitch on one another and that they will blindly support one another no matter how obviously wrong their actions might be. Though this wall isn’t as thick as it was decades ago, it still exists.
Typically, when we hear of police brutality cases, they are uncovered by a citizen eyewitness, a surveillance camera, or media source. Rarely, if ever, are they uncovered by the police themselves. As a matter of fact, when it’s apparent that other officers may have been “in the know” about an incident, they are usually supporting their brothers in blue or denying their knowledge of anything at all.
The officer who reported these two men beating a teen was commended by Chief Executive Burrell Ellis, who said, “I would like to thank that officer for responding quickly so we could address this.”
Neither officer has lost their job. Instead both, who are three year veterans, are being suspended with pay pending an internal investigation– nevermind the fact that they are both facing misdemeanor battery charges and felony charges of violating their oaths of office.
No one is above the law, though it sometimes seems as if the law targets some more readily than others. If you are facing criminal charges and are in need of representation, get help from an experienced Georgia criminal defense attorney. Call us for a consultation.