A Georgia State Patrol trooper is being investigated after he was caught on video stomping on a suspect — who was armed and fled cops during a traffic stop, department officials said.
Footage posted online Sunday showed the unnamed trooper delivering a “foot strike” to the side of the suspect’s body after his handgun fell from his waistband during a subsequent foot chase, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday.
Jamarco Kintavious Lucas, of Decatur, was initially stopped while driving on Atlanta’s Downtown Connector, where he was spotted driving a 2019 Dodge Challenger without a seatbelt.
But Lucas — who was wanted in nearby Rockdale County on a battery charge — drove off, Georgia State Patrol spokesman Lt. Mark Riley said in a news release.
Lucas eventually jumped out of his car and tried to flee on foot, Riley said.
Another clip posted online shows the trooper deploying his stun gun as he chased Lucas through city streets, hitting him once and causing him to fall to the ground.
That’s when the trooper said he saw a handgun fall from Lucas’ waistband, Riley said.
Authorities said Lucas then appeared to try to get up while on the ground, leading the trooper to strike him with his foot. The trooper was unaware at the time if Lucas was still armed, Riley said. The trooper then found a handgun on the sidewalk between himself and a bystander.
The 27-year-old suspect was later charged with counts including fleeing or attempting to elude and possession of a firearm with an altered serial number, the Journal-Constitution reported.
Georgia State Patrol officials confirmed to ABC News that the videos posted on Twitter were part of its review into the unnamed trooper’s use of force. All such instances are documented and reviewed per Department of Public Safety policy.
The review had not been completed as of early Thursday, ABC News reported.
Some in Atlanta, meanwhile, insisted they were disturbed by the footage, calling it a “clear case of excessive force” despite the suspect being armed, WSB-TV reported.
“You have someone on the ground already, there’s no need to stomp on them,” activist Scotty Smart told the station.
“I think that’s a clear case of excessive force. We have someone on the ground already. There’s no need to stomp on him. You could easily apprehend the suspect by simply placing handcuffs on him. Stomping on him two or three times looks like an emotional reaction.”