Desmond Marrow, a former NFL player, said he became unconscious after an encounter with police. On December 2, 2017, police believed he had a firearm when all he had was a cellphone, reported the Washington Post. Marrow posted a video of his encounter with the police on Facebook on April 26, which quickly went viral.
The video is a result of a series of events that escalated. It all began when someone reportedly threw coffee onto Marrow’s car. Marrow then chased the perpetrators into a shopping center. As he was aggressively driving to catch the people who threw the coffee, a police officer saw him and arrived as Marrow was in a heated argument with some people, according to 11 Alive. The police officer asked Marrow to stop cussing, and a witness told the police officer that Marrow said that he was going to “shoot them.”
At this time, two other officers arrived at the scene, and they asked Marrow if he was in possession of a firearm. He said no. They patted him down and found no gun. But because he had made a threat, they told Marrow he was under arrest. At this point, he began resisting, according to the police officers.
The video shows Marrow protesting the violent arrest repeatedly, yelling, “I’m not even fighting back” as three police officers worked together to handcuff him. Eventually, one officer grabbed his legs and pinned him down to the ground. Marrow was shown crying and yelling. Then, one officer was shown choking him as he lay on the ground. Marrow repeated several times, “I can’t breathe,” until it appeared that he lost consciousness and went limp.
Marrow said that he suffered a concussion and a shoulder strain. He also said that the police, “knocked my teeth out, slammed me on my head and choked me until I was unconscious.” He added that police believed he had a gun in his pocket when it was just a cellphone.
The officer that choked Marrow, David Rose, was fired after an internal investigation revealed that he had used unnecessary force. A review of Rose’s car video system revealed that he said he had choked Marrow and that he would not be including that piece of information in the police report.
Additionally, the official statement from the Henry County Police Department detailed that the viral video did not include footage of Marrow resisting arrest and fighting officers before the filming started. Apparently, the police officers forced him onto the ground because it is protocol to do so when someone is resisting arrest. However, Rose was found to have violated conduct and used unnecessary force during the process.
Marrow was a player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012, but did not make it past pre-season. Before that, he played for the University of Toledo as a defense back.