The Mobile Police Department has taken undisclosed disciplinary actions against a patrol officer and a supervisor involved in a forceful arrest last month that was videotaped by another citizen.
As Lagniappe reported, Officer Blake Duke was placed on desk duty a day after he arrested 53-year-old Howard Green Jr. at the intersection of Lafayette and St. Stephens Roads. The incident, which began as a traffic stop, was filmed by pedestrians at a nearby store and shared to social media.
The video begins with Duke detaining and exchanging some strong words with Green, who is seen lying facedown on the ground. After handcuffing Green and assisting him to his feet, Duke eventually shoves him into the patrol car before briefly putting him in a chokehold and placing him in the back seat.
Later in the footage, after Green apparently made noises from inside of the patrol car, Duke removed him from the vehicle again and began searching his pockets — grabbing Green’s head and neck area several times and eventually placing him in another brief chokehold against the car.
The video ends as an unidentified female officer points toward witnesses filming and a third officer approaches the camera. On Facebook, the woman who initially shared the recording claimed that it was recorded by her daughter and that police had briefly taken her phone after the incident.
Green was ultimately arrested and charged with harassment, no insurance, running a red light, failure to obey, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. However, some residents felt the use of force was unnecessary, and MPD officials also launched an administrative investigation into Duke’s conduct.
On Thursday, a spokesperson for the department said an investigation found that Duke and an unidentified on-scene supervisor had both violated MPD policies. A statement on the situation did not identify what specific policies they were accused of violating.
“The administrative proceedings established that officer Duke, along with the on-scene supervisor, had committed infractions that were inconsistent with [MPD] policy and procedures,” Public Information Officer Charlette Solis said in a statement. “Both were charged with specific policy violations. Officer Duke and the on-scene supervisor have been taken before an administrative trial board.”
According to Solis, the department has “taken the appropriate actions” to hold both officers accountable, though MPD has not given any indication as to what those actions might be. The department did say that Duke would end his desk duty and be reinstated to full duty by April 6, 2020.
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