Police officer laughs after breaking black man’s ankle with flying tackle

·2 min read
Atlanta Police Department footage showing attack against black American man last April: Butler Law Firm
Atlanta Police Department footage showing attack against black American man last April: Butler Law Firm

Atlanta’s police department (APD) faces fresh criticism after body-camera footage emerged from an arrest last April in which officers broke a black man’s ankle and laughed whilst he was forced to walk on it.

The new case comes days after APD chief Ericka Shields resigned following the police shooting of another black man, Rayshard Brooks, amid nationwide protests against racism and police violence.

The alarming police video shows several cops telling the victim, Tyler Griffin, to “Get out of the f–king car!” over an alleged traffic violation last April.

Mr Griffin, who complied with police demands but brushed an officer’s arm aside when he clasped his shirt, was then tackled and suffered broken bones.

That body-cam recording was released on Monday as Mr Griffin’s lawyers, Jeb Butler and Matt Kahn, filed a lawsuit against the Atlanta Police Department and two cops involved in the incident.

“He’s supposed to protect and serve, not act like he’s on WWE,” said Mr Butler on the Atlanta officer who sprinted towards Mr Griffin in an unwarranted attack, and broke his ankle.

That officer, who has been named as Donald Vickers in legal documents, was seen laughing at the black man in the video, and said: “We’re laughing because you fell pretty hard after pushing an officer, man.”

Vickers continued: “I find that funny, man,” as Mr Griffin screamed in agony on the ground.

After demanding Mr Griffin stands and walks on the ankle, he shouts “It hurts! It hurts!” whilst the Atlanta cops continue to laugh.

The lawsuit also alleges that Vickers told the victim that “You sound like a little girl right now”.

Mr Griffin’s lawyers added on Monday that their client needed emergency surgery to install a metal plate and 10 pins following the injuries he sustained.

“This was a police officer on a power trip,” said Butler, “with his buddies trying to cover it up afterward.”

“I grew up believing that if you cooperated with officers, everything would be okay,” added Mr Griffin. “I still think most police officers are good people. But what happened to me is not acceptable, and this story has to be told.”

It was not clear whether APD have fired or dismissed Vickers and another officer, identified as Matthew Abad, following the lawsuit.

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