Video: ‘DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department Entered My Family’s Home Illegally’
[WARNING: Contains strong language.]
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) - “At around 1:30am [sic] my family and I were awaken [sic] by the sound of loud and aggressive banging at our front door. The [a]ggressive nature of the banging frightened us so I walked into the guest room that looks over the front of our house and was shocked when I saw 3 large DeKalb County Sheriff SUV’s with large flood lights pointed at our house and windows.”
That is the beginning of the description offered for a video posted to YouTube that accuses several officers with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office of harassing a family late one recent night.
The events depicted in the video, posted by the user yachtclubclthrs, were said to have taken place on July 26.
CBS affiliate WGCL-TV spoke with area resident Donovan Hall, who is said to be the one who took and posted the video, and his mother, Natania Griffin, about the incident.
“They never once told me why they were here, what they wanted, or who they wanted,” Griffin told the station.
The video is shot from the top of a set of stairs, with the aforementioned lights shining through the front window. Several times during the video you can hear the deputies banging loudly on the door.
At one point, Hall can be heard calling 911 in the hope of clearing the matter up.
“I specifically ask the operator if she would send the police captain to the scene to ensure that we would not be harmed when we open the door, she said ok [sic],” the distraught son wrote online. “I waited about another 20-25 minutes for police to show up.”
Hall added in his description, “No police ever showed up.”
Ultimately, the family decided to open the door, but not before Griffin made several claims against the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office on tape.
“If I’m dead in the morning, you what it’s because [of]. Do not trust DeKalb County Police,” she states. “This is retaliation against me for Sgt. James and … Howden, trying to kick in my door.”
She also tells the camera that there is an ongoing investigation into her allegations that has lasted two years.
Once the door is opened, officers charge into the house before pulling Griffin aside and placing her under arrest. Soon after, another party is reportedly handcuffed off-camera.
“Put cuffs on his big a**! You gon’ [sic] open the door when I tell you to open the door!” one officer is quoted as saying, before threatening to use a taser on the party in question.
Hall is now accusing the police of illegal entry and theft, and said that an officer identified only as Sgt. Magee told another party that extreme force was used “because they made a scene filming us.” He also claims that the police did not have a search warrant.
Authorities, however, told WGCL that they did have a warrant for Griffin’s arrest for failure to pay a civil fine. They also admitted that the language used – which also included racial slurs – was inappropriate, but that no excessive force was implemented in her apprehension.