Outrage has been sparked across social media after an initial video of a female motorist getting arrested in Atlanta went viral and the city’s police department stood by its officer. After the first video was released, the officer’s bodycam was shared with the public. Many are torn about who’s right or wrong in the incident, weighing in on the fact she resisted arrest, and he seems to have used excessive force.
The Atlanta Police Department issued a statement in support of the officer.
On Monday, Aug. 8, Angel Guice was stopped and arrested by Officer Brooks in the Shady Valley Park at 2700 Shady Valley Drive in Northeast, Atlanta around 11:50 p.m. for an alleged loitering violation. The park closed at 11 p.m.
Originally, footage released on Instagram by a user named Foxii_Roxcii, claiming to be the woman’s sister, shows the actress and reiki practitioner, not complying with the cop’s attempt to place her in handcuffs.
It also captured the 32-year-old Los Angeles woman reiterating that she doesn’t know why he is arresting her and that he only wanted to do so after she asked for his name and badge information.
Foxii_Roxcii captioned the video saying, “Last night @angelguice and her friend were hanging out at a park unknowingly after hours.”
“Officer Brooks pulled up, asked for Id, and proceeded to give each of them a citation to sign. Angel simply wanted to know exactly what she was signing and asked for the officer’s name and badge number,” she continues to explain. “At some point, he became irritated by her questions. He then abused his power by using excessive force. He threw her to the ground and pulled out his taser.”
Her friend captured the interaction on video, trying to defend his friend as the officer moves to detain her. While he filmed the alleged use of excessive force, he does not show what happened to lead up to the arrest.
It has been alleged that Guice and her friend were hanging out at a park after hours.
The officer says to Guice, “I’m not here to play games with you.”
Guice answers back with a shaky voice, “I know you are not.”
Brooks is not moved by her seeming fear and tells her to put her hands behind herself and tells her he believes she is actively resisting.
She asks him, “But why am I putting my hands behind my back? Why am I under arrest?”
The officer will not answer her but is seen yanking her from one side of the car to the next.
The voice, presumably taping the ordeal, says, “Sir? She’s about to sign the ticket. I’m going to. He’s about to sign the ticket. That’s all you wanted to do is sign a ticket. That’s all it is.”
“I’m going to sign the ticket,” she states, repeating her friend.
However, despite her resignation to sign the citation, Brooks told her she no longer has that option.
“I was asking for your badge number, and I wasn’t clear,” she states as she circles to avoid being cuffed.
But he grabs her again and pins her to the car.
The friend jumps in, shouting, “Sir, you do not have to told her like that.”
But the cop keeps tossing her around, and she keeps resisting being handcuffed.
“You don’t have to grab her like that,” the male voice adds. “Why am I being arrested?” Guice asks. “Can you please tell me why? I’m sorry.”
It is around this time he tackles her to the ground and pulls out his taser. The friend asks the officer not to tase his friend and she cries out saying she is scared.
In her post, Foxii_Roxcii asked, “Where’s the respect as a citizen? Are we not aloud (sic) to ask questions about our rights without ego taking over. Why was a taser pulled out? Why was she frisked by a male officer? Aren’t police here to protect and serve? What kind of training is this? Aggressive officers like this have to be STOPPED!!!!”
After the post went up and was shared, comments in support of Guice poured in.
In the Shade Room, one person said, “Why couldn’t he just stop and explain everything to her she’s obviously scared and wants more info?”
Many were upset because Officer Brooks was Black, and demonstrated behavior often associated with racist members of law enforcement.
One person provided a different stance, “It doesn’t matter wether (sic) you’re a male or woman, refusing to sign a ticket WILL get you arrested 100% of the time. And resisting an arrest will only make the officer USE FORCE.”
A rebuttal to his logic said, “refusal to sign anything isn’t wrong, it’s a choice of disagreement with the ticket, does not require excessive force.”
A third person offered, “All she had to do was comply and make a complaint once she got locked up if she felt she was done wrong.”
“No one can force you to sign but if u refuse to sign the law requires that the person be taken into custody to be fingerprinted and arraigned,” someone else chimed in. “She thought she was cute playing with this cop and didn’t even know the law. She ua demanding to know why she is being arrested but baby you should have been fully aware of the consequences when you were refusing to sign!”
A good amount of people soberly said the use of excessive force was for resisting arrest, not the ticket. Still, the majority of the remarks in the video demonstrated a strong belief that Officer Brooks violated her civil rights, asking for officials to identify him.
What the Initial Video Did Not Show
A statement from the Atlanta Police Department and the officer’s full video were released days later, showing a more complete story.
“The Atlanta Police Department(APD) is aware of video footage circulating on social media regarding an Atlanta Police Officer arresting a woman for being in a city park after hours. Upon learning of the incident, members of the APD’s Command Staff immediately began reviewing the incident to determine the facts surrounding the case. It has become immediately clear there is more to this story than the short social media video shows and the decision has been made to release the Body Worn Camera footage from the arresting officer.”
The agency gave more context regarding the park being closed early and why officers were enforcing the designated hours.
“As part of the Atlanta Police Department’s efforts to address park safety and in response to safety concerns after the August 2, 2022, homicide in Wilson Mill Park and August 7, 2022, homicide at Rosa L. Burney Park, Atlanta Police Officers have been instructed to increase patrols inside city parks,” the statement continued.
The lead up to the violent confrontation, based on the longer video, shows a defiant Guice refusing to comply with the officer’s request to sign a citation while her friend calmly obeys Brooks’ instructions.
While her male associate is working with the officer, she is standing afar with her hand on her hip.
Brooks calls her over multiple times before she approaches him. His voice is straight but authoritative. He presents her with the ticket and she questions him, saying, “Didn’t you say because we were from out of town, we would not have known [the law]?”
He tells her that’s not a valid reason not to receive the ticket.
She turns to walk away and asks, “What’s your badge number?” She goes back to the car across the way from him to get her cellphone from the vehicle.
“What’s your name?” she asks him. He says, “Officer Brooks.” She snaps back, “What’s your first name?”
He tells her he doesn’t have to give that to her. She points at the ticket and says, “I don’t have to sign that, right?”
The officer tells her that she does, and explains — as he did her male companion — if she does not sign it, she will be taken to jail. He asks her again, “Are you refusing to sign?”
She does not look up from her phone, but asks him again, “What’s your name?”
He tells her again, “Officer Brooks,” and then gave his badge number 7452.
She still does not look up, seeming to ignore him as she types on her phone. She asks him again, “What’s your badge number?”
Brooks replies, “I gave it to you two times.”
Guice says, “And I am asking you again.”
He asks her again, in a mild tone, “Are you going to sign it?”
The actress replies, “No. Because I want your badge number.”
Brooks then takes the ticket and places it in his patrol vehicle window, setting it on his seat, and returns with cuffs out to arrest her. He asks her to place her hands behind her back, grabbing her arm.
Guice responds, “Sir, you are hurting me,” and the video picks up from his bodycam view with the scenes posted in the initial of the encounter.
According to the police statement, if the woman would have just signed the citation the officer would have let her go.
“For most traffic law violations and city ordinance violations, officers are authorized to issue a copy of charges and release the individual once they have signed the ticket,” the statement explained. “Signing the ticket is not an admission of guilt but is an acknowledgment of receipt of the citation and of the person’s obligation to appear in court or pay a fine.”
“Refusing to sign a citation is considered reasonable cause to believe the individual will not appear in court or pay the fine and the officer may then physically arrest the individual so they can be brought before the court to post bond,” it added.
Some people on social media, after seeing the full video, said she should have taken the citation and made a complaint later. Others still stand by condemning Brooks’ decision to use force and the degree of force he engaged in to detain her, even calling him a “coward,” and shaming the APD for releasing the full bodycam video.
“For those of you police officers who applauded the Atlanta Police Department for releasing the full video of the confrontation with Officer Brooks only shows that he’s still a C-O-W-A-R-D! Got more shiggidy to be working on than retaliatory conduct because he’s in his feelings!”
The department disagrees, saying, “No one wants to see a fight between an officer and a citizen, but a more in-depth review of the incident, using the body worn camera footage, shows the officer repeatedly ask the female to comply by placing her hands behind her back and the footage shows she refuses each time.”
Guice has not made a comment on the incident.