HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - Henry County Police Chief Mark Amerman said he is fully aware of the public's perception of the December 2017 encounter between Desmond Marrow and two Henry County police officers.
"I want the truth for this Mr. Marrow. I want the truth for the community, the officers...everyone and we will get that because that's what we are sworn to do," said Chief Amerman.
Chief Amerman said the department started an internal affairs investigation into the December 2, 2017 incident, several weeks before Mr. Marrow posted it on his Instagram page on April 26. Marrow, 31, now has an entire legal team and the backing of his church, Tabernacle of Praise in McDonough. That's where supporters gathered and gasped as they watch the video Monday morning.
"I thought police were coming to help me as the victim of the two guys who had thrown hot coffee into my truck and called me the N-word while we were driving. I didn't think it was going to end like this at one point, I didn't know if I was choking or dying," Marrow said Monday morning from inside Tabernacle of Praise Church in McDonough.
Attorney Chris Stewart, who's represented several other families of black men who died after their encounters with police, insists the video conflicts with statements and the police report.
"This isn't a matter of what happened before or after the video. This is about what's in the video. And what's on the video conflicted with what police officer said in the report. These officers lied in the report and we have to hold these people accountable," Stewart said from the church pulpit.
The police chief asked the district attorney to launch an independent investigation, which includes a civilian review board. The parallel investigations will likely take weeks to conclude, but the chief said all results will be made public. One officer remains on administrative duty, the other is still patrolling the streets of Henry County.
"I have seen the video and I do have my concerns. There are some concerns. But there's a lot more to this incident than what happened on that video and we need to look at all of the facts and circumstances to get to the truth," the chief said from police headquarters Monday afternoon.