DeKalb police officer under investigation for repeatedly striking woman with baton

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The DeKalb County Police Department has reopened its investigation into Officer P.J. Larscheid’s use of force following the release of a video that shows him repeatedly striking a woman with his baton during arrest.

The June 4 video is new evidence that surfaced over the weekend, said DeKalb Police spokeswoman Shiera Campbell. The one-minute, 39-second video shows Larscheid beating 38-year-old Katie McCrary as he held her on the floor inside a Chevron gas station on Glenwood Road in South DeKalb County. McCrary was suspected of solicitation.

Larscheid stated in his incident report that McCrary told him she was a federal agent and gave a “random badge number” as she tried to walk past him. He said he warned her that she could be charged with impersonating an officer and she tried to grab his badge.

Investigators are reviewing the video to determine if the incident is consistent with policy, the Police Department said.

Meanwhile, the DeKalb NAACP issued a statement calling for a thorough investigation. The civil rights organization’s branch president Teresa Hardy said:

“The DeKalb NAACP is deeply concerned about the troubling video released on July 10 of the incident that occurred on June 4 showing a DeKalb police officer violently beating a woman with his baton whom he was trying to restrain and arrest. The fact that the police department has reopened its investigation of the incident in light of a bystander’s video becoming public is a welcomed development.

Although the previous internal investigation had cleared the officer of any wrongdoing based on the information he provided in his “use of force” report of the incident, the DeKalb NAACP is extremely concerned about the following:

  1. The lack of a video recording from the officer’s video camera.
  2. Whether the details in the offer’s report are supported by the video evidence.
  3. Whether DeKalb police policy permits such a response by the police in such situations.
  4. Whether the initial allegations against the victim warranted a police response that precipitated the escalation of the incident.

The DeKalb NAACP is intently awaiting the outcome of the new investigation.

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