A DeKalb County Police sergeant and two officers were indicted May 10 for allegedly beating suspects.
DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said the officers had “a pattern of conduct…that was being directed by a sergeant to junior officers wherein they would carry out beatings and physical assaults on suspects, sometimes while they were in handcuffs.”
Officers Blake Andrew Norwood and Arthur Parker III were indicted on counts of aggravated battery, aggravated assault and making a false statement.
In addition to those counts, Sgt. Anthony Remone Robinson was indicted on counts of aggravated assault, simple assault, battery, violation of oath by a public officer and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act.
The officers had until 4 p.m. May 10 to turn themselves in.
“It is a sad and unfortunate day in that we have to bring…our own before a DeKalb County grand jury,” James said.
Roberts said some of the counts stem from a Dec. 23, 2010, incident in which three boys, ages 15-16, were arrested for burglary.
“There was a call out on a potential burglary,” James said. “Some of these young men fit the description of the individuals that had allegedly burglarized a home in that area.
“When the officers arrived, the young men were placed in the back of patrol cars,” James said. “They were handcuffed and…Sgt. Robinson gave the order to beat these young men.”
In a Nov. 15, 2011, incident, Norwood and Parker are accused of beating teenage burglary suspect Travarrius B. Williams while he was handcuffed.
The officers had been asked to drive the suspect from the South Precinct to the DeKalb County Jail.
Before the officers left the precinct with Williams, there was an exchange of words between Williams and one of the officers, according to police.
After Williams allegedly spit at the officers, they drove behind a precinct building, took Williams out of the car and began kicking and punching him, police said.
Williams suffered a broken tooth and internal injuries in the incident, according to the indictment.
A third officer, who was ending his shift, witnessed the attack and told his supervisor.
James said Robinson gave the order to beat the victim.
James said the allegations are disturbing but he has “full faith and confidence” in the police department.
“We’ve got a thousand police officers on the DeKalb County Police force,” James said. “The vast majority of them are good officers. They put their lives on the line every day for people like me and you.”
James said he did not want to “give the impression that a few bad apples are characteristic of most of our men and women that are serving the citizens of DeKalb County.”
“We are all held accountable [and] we all have to play by the same rules,” James said. “And whether you’re an individual citizen, whether you’re a sworn law enforcement officer—it doesn’t matter what your position is—you cannot violate the law and you cannot beat people.”